The Tuberose, also known as Polianthes tuberosa, is a night-blooming. Because of its sweet, heavy scent, the Tuberose has a long history in the world of perfumery and has been grown in the south of France for centuries.
The Tuberose does not bear any relation to the rose, but its name is said to derive from the plants slender stem from which grows a tube resembling rootstock. This stem often grows 3 feet (91 cm) high and bears flowers of a pink-cream shade, each with six sword-shaped petals.
Believed to have originated in Mexico, the Tuberose is today found in many parts of the world, although predominantly in the southern hemisphere.
The Tuberose is readily available in most seasons to buy in the UK as both a potted plant and as cut flowers, though it’s natural blooming season is in July and August.
The Tuberose belongs to the Agave family, Agavaceae. Its full name is Polianthes tuberosa but the more common names of the most popular varieties include Mexican Single, Dwarf and Pearl Excelsior.
For greater growing success try planting in pots outdoors. In colder weather, move them indoors to avoid the cold and frosts. If growing in garden soils, make sure you dig up the plant in winter and transfer to a warmer environment. If you choose to buy in the Tuberose, ensure you use cut-flower or bulb-flower food. With care, this flower will last up to fourteen days so such feed is well worth using. Trim off the very top buds to maintain the flower’s straight length and to avoid the stem bending towards the light.
Did You Know?
Polianthes tuberosa flowers have featured heavily in many different types of religious ceremonies down the years. In traditional Hawaiian weddings, for example, it is customary for the bride to wear a Tuberose wreath. Tuberosa flowers are also used during Indian wedding ceremonies for decorative purposes, while it was also used as a funeral flower during the Victorian Age.