The Temperate Database is in the process of being updated, with new records being added and old ones being checked and brought up to date where necessary. This record has not yet been checked and updated.
Common Name: Tuberose
Photograph by: ?????
Polianthes tuberosa is a Bulb up to 1.00 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and source of materials.
Southern N. America - Mexico.
Not known in a truly wild situation[
Requires a warm sheltered position[
] and a well-drained soil[
]. When grown in pots it is best to use a fibrous loam enriched with compost and some silver sand for drainage[
]. Plants require copious amounts of moisture when starting into growth[
Not very hardy outdoors in Britain, this species is often grown in the greenhouse where it can be induced to flower at almost any time of the year[
]. It can also be grown outdoors in warm areas of Britain, planting out the bulbs in spring, harvesting them in the autumn and storing them in sand overwinter in a cool but frost-free place[
This species is sometimes cultivated for its edible flowers[
]. They are very strongly scented[
]. The flowers are perhaps the most powerfully scented of all flowers. The perfume is almost intoxicating, especially when the plant is grown in gentle heat when it is heavy and sickly almost to the point of unpleasantness[
]. A double-flowered cultivar, 'The Pearl' has an even more pronounced fragrance[
The plant is cultivated for its essential oil in China[
Flowers - cooked. Used in vegetable soups or added to the substrate of 'kecap', an Indonesian soy sauce[
The flowers are the source of tuberosa-flower water[
]. No further details are given.
An essential oil is obtained from the flowers. It is used in high grade perfumery[
]. 1150kg of flowers yield 1kg absolute essential oil[
Seed - we have no information on this species but suggest sowing the seed in spring in a sunny position in a greenhouse. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts.
Division of offsets after the plant has finished flowering in late summer.