Tuberose has abundance of dazzling fragrance

Since yesterday was Mother’s Day, and last week my mother’s birthday, this article is for Mom, who passed away at home earlier this year.

I kept her bedroom, where she spent the majority of her time, always brimming with assorted orchids, for their dazzling longevity, and tuberose, for their celestial fragrance.

One day I purchased tuberose from a florist friend, who ended up generously giving me the entire bucket. I arranged several stalks for my mom’s bedroom and the remaining ones for her adjoining bathroom. That night, about 2 in the morning, I could hear stirring from her bedroom. Because she suffered previous falls, I bolted to her. With her diminished mobility, she was trying to secretly relocate the tuberose to the living room because its overwhelming scent had saturated her bedroom.

I totally underestimated the immense perfume they would generate that first night. My mother was embarrassed because she didn’t want to hurt my feelings by removing the tuberose. I was relieved and amused.

Tuberose (Polianthes tuberosa) is kupaloke in Hawaiian. The Greek words “polios” and “anthos” mean “many flowers.” The Latin derivative of tuberosa means “swollen” or “tuberous,” for the roots or tubers. It’s a member of the family Agavaceae.