Eucharis x grandiflora

Eucharis x grandiflora

This is a bulbous perennial from Colombia, South America, with clusters of glistening flowers like pristine white daffodils. It belongs to the Amaryllidaceae family (which includes daffodils!). It is sometimes known as the Amazon or Eucharist lily (despite the latter name, there is apparently no religious connotation to this: 'eucharis' means 'elegant' in Latin and 'charm' in Greek). It grows to about 45 cm tall. In its natural habitat, it grows on the floor of rainforests, so is adapted to warm, humid conditions and tolerant of some shade. The best position for it seems to be semi-shade. It has broad green leaves.

It will do well in Sydney gardens but seems best suited to life in a pot, with good, fertile potting mix, mainly because its watering needs seem to vary during the year, with ample watering needed from spring to autumn but less in winter. Also, if grown in a pot, the plant can be moved to a sheltered spot in winter so it doesn't suffer too much from the cold weather. The flowers are very fragrant at night, to attract pollinators. In general, my bulbs flower in mid-autumn (around April) but apparently it is possible to produce more flowering periods by alternating resting and growing periods in the warm months of the year, the rest achieved by withholding water for a few weeks. I have yet to try this. Propagation is by detaching the small offsets from the main plant in summer and potting them on. It has no particular pests or diseases, apart from snails, which like to chew the leaves and flowers at times.

Flowers in April.

 Out now in my Sydney Garden.