Thursday, August 23, 2012

Polianthes tuberosa........Tuber Roses, Rajanigandha

 Originally from Mexico, Polianthes tuberosa is the world's most fragrant bulb  according to 'Thompson & Morgan', renowned seed & bulb specialists,  that is.

'Think of double strength gardenia with hints of jasmine and lemon' says Alan Titchmarsh.

Spikes of intensely fragrant, waxy white flowers are produced throughout summer, which make enthralling cut flowers.
 The semi-double, fragrant tuberose flowers of this relatively unknown bulb are carried above narrow, lance shapes leaves.

Polianthes tuberosa requires a minimum temperature of 15°C (59°F) so it is ideal for a heated greenhouse or conservatory. It can also be grown outdoors in containers or sheltered sunny borders, if it is lifted and stored frost-free over winter.

 Its scent is described as a complex, exotic, sweet, floral and the oil extracted from the flower is used as a middle note in perfumery.

 There are about 12 species of Tuber rose belonging to the family Agavaceae. 
 The common name derives from the Latin tuberosa, meaning swollen or tuberous in reference to its root system.
Polianthes  means "many flowers" in the Greek language.

It was a very popular flowering bulb in Victorian times, 'grown in posh china pots in conservatories or living rooms that didn’t benefit from much heating' says Alan Titchmarsh.