Dwarf Pineapple Flower
Creamy-yellow; December - February; summer
damp sun; container; roof garden; wildlife flies
wetland; grassland; coastal kzn
subtropical east coast
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This small member of the Pineapple family of bulbs is quite beautiful. Long tapering bright green leaves (400 x 70 mm) carry a dusting of maroon to purple specks and attractive undulating margins. The short flower stalk too is washed in dark maroon, and the long cylindrical flowerhead carries a purple crown at its tip. In contrast, flowers are a creamy-white with strokes of maroon on the inside of the stamens. Flowering takes place from December to February. This dwarf species is endemic to KZN, a member of the northern and southern Drakensberg alpine communities, where it grows in rocky stream gullies, on wet rock overhangs, and in moist grasslands. Bulbs survive frosty winters underground, with only the neck slightly above ground level. Water the Dwarf Pineapple Lily well during the spring and summer, but the ensure the soil drains well. Feed with compost in spring. All this beauty – but a rather unpleasant smell designed to lure in the Carrion flies, said to be the most significant pollinator of this species.