Eucomis bicolor (pineapple lily)
Eucomis bicolor inflorescence (Photo: Mike Peel, licensed under CC BY 2.5)
Eucomis bicolor Baker
pineapple lily, pineapple flower (English); bontpynappelblom, bospynappellelie (Afrikaans); imbola, umbola (Zulu); kxampumpu-ya-thaba (Sotho)
Near Threatened in South Africa according to IUCN Red List criteria.
Forest and grassland; often on mountain slopes, cliffs and along watercourses.
Ornamental, traditional medicine.
None known, although the bulbs of other species, such as Eucomis autumnalis, are toxic if ingested.
About this species
Eucomis bicolor was described in 1878 by English botanist John Gilbert Baker. The most commonly cultivated of ten known species of Eucomis, pineapple lily is often used to give a tropical appearance to temperate gardens. Flowers are long-lasting, making pineapple lily an excellent late-summer to autumn interest plant.
The generic name Eucomis derives from the Greek eukomos meaning ‘lovely-haired’ and refers to the crown of leafy bracts at the top of the flowering stem.