This section is from the book "The Standard Cyclopedia Of Horticulture Vol2", by L. H. Bailey. See also: Western Garden Book: More than 8,000 Plants - The Right Plants for Your Climate - Tips from Western Garden Experts.
(Greek, beautiful hair or topknot). Lilia-cese. Cape bulbs, half-hardy, producing radical rosettes of long leaves and a strong peduncle or scape bearing a raceme of greenish or whitish flowers more or less tinged with color, the cluster crowned or topped with a coma of leafy bracts (it is from this coma or crest that the generic name is taken).
Bulb tunicated: peduncle simple: leaves lorate or oblong, often tinged or spotted with purple: flowers regular, 6-parted, rotate; stamens 6; ovary broad and short; style cylindrical and stigma capitate: caps. 3-valved. - Species about 12, African, nearly all from S. Africa Propogation by offsets. The bulbs may remain in the open if in a warm place and well protected; some of them stand considerable frost, and bloom in spring. Of easy cultivation Let the bulbs remain where planted. In the N. treated as glasshouse plants.
A. Scape club-shaped.
Ait. Bulb globose, 2-3 in. diam.: leaves 6-8, obtuse, not undulate toward the edge, to 1 l/2 ft. long and 3-4 in. broad: scape 3-6 in. long, bearing a dense oblong raceme 3-6 in. long; flowers green, 1/2in. long, the segments oblong, and stamens half as long as perianth: crown of 12-20 oblong, acute, crisped leaves S. Africa
Ait. Bulb 2 in. diam.: leaves about 8, obtuse, firm, purplish on back toward the base, to 2 ft. long, 3-4 in. broad above the middle: scape short, 1 in. thick at top, spotted purple; raceme with more or less purple, 3-4 in. long, dense, the flowers nearly sessile: perianth green, 1/2in. long, the segments oblong; crown of 12-20 oblong acute leaves S. Africa
Jacquinii, C. H. Wright. Differs from the above, with which it has been confused, in broader and shorter leaves less tapering at base, and no purple in the infloresence S.Africa
AA. Scape cylindrical. B. Pedicels short.
Ait. Bulb globose, 2-3 in. diam.: leaves 6-9, strap-shaped, to 1 1/2ft. long, 2-3 in. broad, thin, not spotted on back, spreading or recurving, undulate: scape 1 ft. or less, bearing a dense raceme 3-6 in. long; perianth green, 1/2in. long, the segments oblong or oblanceolate: crown of 12-30 crisped leaves S. Africa B.M. 1083. G.W. 15, p. 305.
bb. Pedicels long, erect-spreading.
L'Her. Pineapple Flower. Bulb globose, 2-3 in. diam.: leaves 6-9, erect-spreading, long and narrow, to 2 ft. long and 2-3 in. broad, channeled, not undulate, brown-spotted beneath: scape 1 ft., spotted; raceme lax, cylindrical, to 1 ft. long; flowers green, 1/2in-long, the ovary brown: crown of 12-20 oblong acute leaves S.Africa B.M. 913. F.S. 22:2307. G.W. 5, p. 121; 9, p. 5. J.H. III. 52:141. Gn. 70, p. 295. G. 19:291; 22:520; 27:409; 32:675. F.E. 31:1080. - A form with leaves striped beneath with brown is variety striata, Sims. B.M. 1539.
Baker. Bulb large and globose: leaves 5-6, strap-shaped, thin, not spotted, undulate, to 2 ft. long by 3-4 in. broad: scape 1-l.1/2 ft. long; raceme to 1 ft. long, dense at top; stamens and margins of perianth-segments bright purple, otherwise close to E. punctata: crown of 12-20 oblong acute leaves usually margined with red-purple. S. Africa B.M. 6816. G.W. 14, p. 468.
L. H. B