Eucomis bicolor is probably the most popular Eucomis and deservedly so: it is a beautiful plant, easy to cultivate and very exotic in appearance. Bursting from the soil in an dramatic explosion of lime-green fleshy leaves, mottled on the undersides with speckles of deep moroon, it is a desirable and very exotic-looking plant just for its foliage alone. When it flowers, it sends up a tall stem with a tufty head of leafy bracts that sit atop its characteristically cylindrical raceme of tightly-spaced waxy flowers that are white with pale greenish undertones, and have a striking shade of purple at the throat and a darker edging of purple along the margins.
Naturally occuring in South Africa in the Eastern Cape to KwaZulu-Natal and up into Mpumalanga, it grows in grasslands and along the banks of streams and in forest glades to an altitude of up to 2800 m including the Drakensberg Mountains. Adapting well to cultivation in the UK, Eucomis bicolor is generally hardy if planted deep and given a generous mulching during the winter months. It likes to be kept dry during the winter so when planting sit it on a bed of sharp sand and add plenty of sand to the substrate and surrounding area. Water well during the growing season.
A very tropical-looking perennial, it is particularly effective when planted in groups where it forms a very showy and eye-catching addition to the exotic garden.
|Geographical Origin||South Africa|
|Cultivation||Full sun. Water well in the growing season and keep dry in winter. Well-drained soil. Does not like a heavy water-logged soil|
|Eventual Height||60 cm including inflorescence|
|Eventual Spread||50 cm|
|Hardiness||Hardy in the UK, however, bulbs should be thickly mulched for protection and kept as dry as possible during winter, or alternatively lifted and stored|
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