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The tuberose (Polianthes tuberosa) is a perennial plant related to the agaves, extracts of which are used as a middle note in perfumery. The common name derives from the Latin tuberosa, meaning swollen or tuberous in reference to its root system. Polianthes means "many flowers" in Greek. In Mexican Spanish, the flower is called nardo or vara de San José, which means ‘St. Joseph’s staff’.
The tuberose is a night-blooming plant native to Mexico, as is every other known species of Polianthes. It grows in elongated spikes up to 45 cm (18 in) long that produce clusters of fragrant waxy white flowers that bloom from the bottom towards the top of the spike. It has long, bright green leaves clustered at the base of the plant and smaller, clasping leaves along the stem.
Members of the closely related genus Manfreda are often called "tuberoses". In the Philippines, the plant is also known as azucena, and, while once associated with funerals, it is now used in floral arrangements for other occasions.
Hardiness: Zones 8-10
- "The Plant List: A Working List of All Plant Species". Retrieved March 4, 2014.
- Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families, genus Polianthes
- Brent and Becky's Bulbs
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