Mexican Tuberose (Polianthes tuberosa) Aka Polyanthus Lily, Azucena, Nardo, Tuberose, Flor de Muerto, and Vara de San José, is native to Mexico, and it’s a perennial plant related to the Agaves (subfamily Agavoideae). It’s with the family of Asparagaceae, genus Polianthes, which means “many flowers” in Greek. ‘Tuberose’ comes from Latin, meaning ‘swollen tube’ or bulb. I’ve already posted two flowers in the family of Asparagaceae, the Asparagus Fern and The Snake Plant.
In Puerto Rico this flower is extremely popular, and it’s sold in the streets as ‘Azucena’. It grows in elongated spikes up to 45 cm (18 in) long that produce clusters of fragrant waxy white flowers. Many people buy them for $1 a spike. In Latin America, it is a flower that was often associated with the deceased, hence one of its folkloric names ‘Flor de Muerto’. Also, there seems to be a popular belief that the flower brings good fortune and purifies surroundings in people’s homes.
“The plants thrive in full sun, in climates where the temperature does not normally dip below 20°F/-7°C. Tubers can be left in the ground year round.”-http://bit.ly/1exeSLa These plants propagate by rhizomatous bulbs or “tubers”. The fragrance gets more intense, as you add more spikes. Five to six spikes in a vase can keep a 18 x 16 feet bedroom extremely fragrant and perfumed. What you see here is one spike. There are some varieties in cultivation. This is the ‘Mexican Single’, but there is also a ‘Double Type’ and ‘Peal Type’ cultivar which has more petals.-(http://bit.ly/1hzfMNb). Nevertheless, the ‘Mexican Tuberose Single Type’ is said to be the most fragrant.
A volatile oil is produced from its bulbous roots and is used in perfumery and incense. (Image U.S. Public Domain)