Tuberose ,
Flower Bulb

The name Tuberose, suggests it to be a rose but it actually is a white colored flower, very similar in appearance to lily. A  pale pink bud grows into the white flower. It has an intoxicating aroma and that is probably why it has a “rose“ in its name as roses smell great too. These flowers bloom only as the dusk ends and leave the enchanting smell in air at night. These night-blooming flowers don’t loose their smell when the flower is picked up and stored in a vase. Instead, it tends to give off more and more pleasant smell. The origins of this plant was at Mexico but they were first planted in China. They are used in many parts of the world as the flower given and presented during funerals. In south India, these flowers are used in marriages to make garlands to be worn by the bride and groom. In Taiwan they have been used as a food ingredient. An Indian culture names it “sugandaraja” which means king of all aromas. The tuberose grows as tall as 45 cm (18 in) . It has long, ever green leaves which are very soft.

History: The flower is known to be used since the prehistoric era. It is probably the first and foremost plant to be cultivated by mankind because the existence of these flowers cant be found in the wild. The Aztecs, which is an ethnic group of Mexico, are known to have grown the flower almost 500 years back from today. They believed that the flower was holy to their deity of beauty and love. The Spanish came and got to know these flowers from the Aztecs and carried the bulbs all the way back to Europe. As soon as the flower became announced in Europe, they became very popular. It was treasured most by the Victorian women. They are called “the queen of night” in India as the flower gives off its wonderful aroma only during the night.

This flower has its origins in Mexico. The fragrance of tube rose was thought to be holy by the Aztecs. They thought that the flower was blessed by the Maya. They had a deep faith in the belief that tuberose was the origin of the gods. They used the aroma of these flowers to trigger and amplify the visions of the psyche. They used the aroma of the flower to lead them to the states of trance and daze. The flower was thought to be possessing the power of unlocking the heart chakra which could lead one to compassion and love.

Cultivation: The tuberoses bloom the most when a lot of sunlight falls upon them. Thus the bulbs should be planted on the spot where soil drains well and sunlight falls on it for at least seven hours a day. The bulbs should be planted by maintaining a gap of 9 inches between two consecutive bulb, the soil should be above 2 inches from the bulbs. These flowers bloom in almost 100 days of plantation. The flowers can be cut and kept in bouquets if wished. The foliage should not be cut as soon as the season ends. They should be dried thoroughly if the season is dry. Leaves should be cut off  few weeks after the end of season. Depending on the level of cold, the bulb may have to be dug out and stored or left as they are under the sun. they can be planted indoor on tubs and pots too. However, the containers should consist of  ample drainage holes and they should be place in spots where there is ample sunlight for almost seven hours, like windows. However, the temperature of the room should be about 75 degrees Fahrenheit if the flower is to planted indoor. The bulbs in pots require five months to flower. The flowers may be cut although it should be kept in mind that the water should be changed daily.

Varieties: There are innumerable varieties of tuberose. However, the Mexican and the Pearl are the most famous. Mexican is single-flowered tuberose while in contrast,  Pearl gives multiple blooms. Tuberoses (Polianthes tuberosa) is another variety of tuberose which is again highly sought after. They have pleasant aroma and perfumes are made from these plants. Today, many cultivars of tuberose can be found in the market.

The Mexican: The Mexican tuberose is famous for its tantalizing smell and is used to make perfume. These flowers are used in many places of the world as a cut flower. This variety is recognized as the most well-known and sought after of the tuberose family. They are white in color and they grow single flowers. This variety consists of stalks which are 3 to 4 foot tall and flowers are attached on these stalks. They have smooth, long and evergreen leaves.  The gap between two consecutive flowers of this variety is more than that of other types, which makes them look beautiful.

The Pearl: The Pearl bears light pink buds which later grows into white flowers. It is known to have been familiar to the mankind since the 1870s which is when it was discovered by a man called John Henderson. The height of these flowers is mediocre, less than that of the

They are very famous because of their beautiful flower arrangements. There is a high density of flowers on the spikes of plants of this variety which makes them the gardener’s first choice. The bulbs produces multiple blooms which means that each bulb can grow more than one spike. The leaves are evergreen, slender and smooth.

Plant care: The chemical named ethylene which is found in fruits and the dangerous fumes coming from the car fuels is a threat to Tuberose. Thus the objects in which the compound  ethylene is found should be kept away from the plant. The flowers in the plant which have withered and about to die should be plucked as they contain the chemical ethylene too. The flower can be fertilized by the addition of an 8-8-8 fertilizer. The plant should be watered once a week or so to ensure moist soil. The plant must be kept in full sunlight of eight hours a day for maximum blooms. The drainage of the can be recovered by the addition of  peat moss.

Bulb care: To ensure an ongoing supply of these fragrant blooms, the bulbs must be dug up each fall and replanted in spring after all danger of frost has passed. stock will keep your garden filled with blossoms year after year. Since they can not withstand cold, the places lying on the north of USDA hardiness zone 8 should dig the bulb out and store them. The bulbs should be excavated from the soil after the arrival of the earliest frost. The bulbs should then be lest to air-dry for four days. They should be covered with peat moss and stored in a place which is dry and where the rays of sunlight are out of reach. These bulbs can then be replanted indoor or outdoor when spring arrives.

Uses: The tuberose benefits humans in many ways. The oil extracted from these flowers can relieve stress and calm the mind. The oil is used to cure many problems like insomnia and depressions. The aroma of these flowers can even cure diarrhea and cramps. Moreover, the intoxicating smell of these flowers are thought to stimulate those portions of the brain that trigger arousals. Thus they are widely used as an aphrodisiac. The oil can be taken orally or aromatherapy is used to treat frigidity and impotence. Moreover, the roots of these plant is used in order to treat rheumatism. They are used to make perfumes and deodorants as they give off an enchanting, last longing aroma. They are also used as sedatives.

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