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Part of the Asparagaceae family, the Tuberoses Flower – or Polianthes Tuberosa by its botanical name – is a highly fragrant perennial flower that is related to the agave plant. Although this flower receives its official name from the Greek word that means “many flowers”, the tuberoses is actually native to Mexico. The Aztecs were the first known people to cultivate this flower and they called it Omixochitl, which translates into English as bone flower.
This flower has much meaning around the world and plays popular and important roles in many cultures. In India, the tuberoses are used frequently in weddings as garland and decorations, and this flower is also used in various cultural rituals. In Iran, the tuberoses’ oil is extracted and used to make a perfume. In Hawaii you will commonly see the tuberoses incorporated into leis. It is also used all over the world as a funeral flower.
The interesting thing about the tuberoses is that it is considered a night blooming flower. This is a rare attribute for flowers to have. Because of this, many cultures have named the flower accordingly. The Hindi name is Rajnigandha which means “night-fragrant” and its Bengali name is Rajoni-Gandha, translating to “scent of the night”. The Chinese name means “night fragrance” and the Indonesian name translates to “night fragrant flower”. A legend in France says that young women should avoid the tuberoses after nightfall when the flower blooms and the aroma grows. The smell is said to encourage these young women to get into trouble.
Add this fragrantly potent flower to your garden with ease. Use richly nutrient, well-draining soil and make sure they are exposed to full sun. Florists recommend planting these flowers 6 inches apart, and if you’re growing from bulbs, plant them about 2 inches deep. Water regularly to help these plants bloom. Upon success, the tuberoses should be between 2-3 feet in height. Flowers bloom in mid-late summer. They also make a great cut flower, lasting 7-10 days on average.
Also visit our Tuberoses Life Cycle page.