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Tuberose or polianthes tuberosa is a perennial and belongs to the asparagus family. Indigenous to Mexico, tuberose is a fragrant flower and a great addition to any garden. It is also called the polyanthus lily. Tuberose flowers grow in clusters on long stalks which can grow to 4 feet in height.

Tuberose is also related to the agave plant and its extracts are often used in perfumes. Tuberosa in latin means swollen. It also means tuberous which is a direct reference to the root system. In Greek, polianthes means multiple flowers. In India, the plant is called ‘rajanigandha’ meaning fragrant in the night.

The tuberose plant was discovered in Mexico in the 16th century and was later imported to Europe. Tuberoses are rhizomes and easy to grow. It does best in tropical and temperate climates. Tuberose likes full sun and little or no shade. The flowers grow in white, waxy clusters and bloom at night. Blooming takes place in a specific pattern – bottom to top. The plant’s leaves are bright green in color and long.

Growing tuberose in a regular garden will require some work. Tuberose rhizomes have to be dug up and stored in the winter as the cold tolerance is 20°F (-7C). Plant the bulbs 3 inches deep in the soil and 6 to 8 inches apart once frost conditions have passed. This plant requires soil that drains well and full sun to thrive. The hotter the afternoons the better. Most soil is a must while it sets leaves, blooms, and then fades.

Adding compost to facilitate better drainage will help to increase the number of flowers. Fertilize regularly during flowering season. Regular fertilizing is a must as tuberoses flower profusely. You can add ground bark and manure to give the bulbs a healthy start. If you plan to grow tuberoses in a pot, ensure that there is adequate drainage. If not, the bulbs will rot. Once the blooms fade and leaves start to yellow, dig up the bulbs and store in a cool place.

There are 4 distinct varieties of tuberoses based on petal rows.

· Single

· Semi-double

· Double

· Variegated – in this case, the leaves of the plant are variegated. The leaves have white or golden streaks.

There are several tuberose hybrids and colors in flowers. Commercially, you could find orange, purple and yellow tuberose flowers for sale. These are often used in bouquets and flower arrangements.

What does the tuberose flower symbolize?

The tuberose flower symbolizes purity, innocence, and peace. For this reason, it is often used in bridal bouquets. It is also considered protection against evil spirits. People usually tuck a sprig or flower in the buttonhole of their shirts to ward off evil spirits.

Tuberose is believed to represent sensuality. Aromatherapists recommend its use to calm the nervous system and open up the heart. Tuberose plays a key role in restoring peace, joy and harmony.

It also symbolizes lust, attraction and being obsessed with another person. It could send the message that you are struggling to let go of a person you have intense feelings for. This bold and white flower with a powerful fragrance is a symbol of potent attraction as well. Tuberose flower meaning across different cultures means the same – purity, innocence, elegance and an indication of strong attraction.

What do the various colors of the tuberose flower mean?

Tuberose  white tuberose flower stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images

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White tuberose flower meaning is gracefulness and elegance. White also represents purity and innocence. It is quite common to find white tuberose in bridal bouquets.

922 Tuberose Flower Stock Photos and Images - 123RF

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Pink tuberose flower meaning is excitement and romantic interest in a person.

Interesting facts and characteristics of the tuberose flower

  • Tuberose is a bulbous plant and indigenous to Mexico.
  • Its leaves are dull green in color, and grow to ca.1.5 feet in height.
  • It grows well in tropical climates and likes full sun. To thrive, it requires well drained soil and regular fertilizing.
  • Since tuberose is a tropical plant, it will thrive and flourish in a warm climate with plenty of sun, well-drained soil and high humidity.
  • Tuberoses grow in the same season they are planted. They do well in pots as well.
  • Tuberoses need a long settling in period in order to set flowers in the late summer to fall. Plant the rhizomes as early as possible to get flowers in the same year as its planting.
  • It is often associated with the agave plant.
  • Tuberose rhizomes should be dug up out of the ground in cold climates and replanted in the spring.
  • Tuberose is a night blooming plant.
  • Tuberose extracts are used often in perfumes as a middle note.
  • In India, these flowers are used to make garlands and in wedding ceremonies.
  • The tuberose is really not a rose – it is distantly related to the hyacinth flower.
  • It was exported from India to Europe in the 17th century.
  • During Victorian times, young women were discouraged from smelling the flower.
  • Tuberose flowers can be eaten. The roots can be roasted and used to flavor coffee.
  • The scent of the tuberose is similar to jasmine.
  • Tuberose extracts are used in perfumes for their orange and peach undertones.
  • Tuberose flowers are used to treat medical conditions like anemia, cataracts and for insomnia too.
  • Tuberose essential oil is very expensive because 1200 kilos of tuberose buds are required to make 200 grams of oil.
  • For a long time, tuberoses were used in funeral wreaths and thus fell out of favor for general use. This use was restricted to some countries and these fragrant flowers are becoming popular again.

Best time to gift someone tuberose flowers

Tuberose bulbs are a good gift for someone who is setting up a new home. Let the tuberose flower meaning of protection against evil be the reason to do so. If you are interested in someone, it is an appropriate way to indicate your interest in them. Tuberose bouquets are a good hostess gift too. A bouquet with just tuberoses will last a week to ten days and add beauty and fragrance to a home.


Tuberose is popular in many countries for its fragrance and multiple uses. It is also an easy plant to grow. It is a great addition to any garden and thrives in warm climates. Plant bulbs in containers and place it near the entrance of your home and enjoy the flower’s fragrance. Cut tuberose stems are wonderful in flower arrangements. Use multiple stems or with other flowers. Now that you know the tuberose flower meaning, find the appropriate occasion to gift these beauties to friends and family. If you are interested in someone, giving them a bouquet of tuberoses or a potted plant is a good way to get your message across.