August 2008 Plant Profile: Eucomis ‘Sparkling Burgundy’

Who knew such a stunning plant, originally from South Africa , could grace our gardens and add such architectural curiosity in the late summer garden. ‘Sparkling Burgundy ‘ was selected by Plant Delights Nursery in North Carolina and has found its way to the West Coast where gardeners have marveled at its ease of growth and overall winter hardiness. In early summer, succulent and strap-like deep purple foliage begins to emerge and looks absolutely stunning contrasting with the bright gold of Sedum ‘Angelina’ (a combination I recreated in Bed 7 of the Soest Garden ). In late July, a mature clump will begin sending up stems and an inflorescence that, upon maturity, blooms and resembles a pineapple with a tuft of the same purple foliage atop the cluster of flowers. Eucomis, in general, prefer a warm location in rich, but very well drained soil. Purple leaved cultivars such as ‘Sparkling Burgundy’ and the more commonly available and almost identical ‘Oakhurst’ have the deepest purple color when grown in full sun.

Family: Hyacinthaceae
Origin: South Africa/Garden Origin
Height: 2.5 ft.
Spread: 3 ft.
Bloom Time: August-September
Bloom Color: Deep purple/pink
Sun: Full Sun
Water: Medium moisture, well drained soil.