Fragrant plantain lily: Flowers shaped like hairpins
By Li Yujun

Fragrant plantain lilies are herbaceous perennial plants of the hosta genus that bloom from August to October. Its flowers resemble hairpins, so Chinese legends say they were created from a hairpin dropped by fairies.

Hairpins. /VCG

Hairpins. /VCG

The fragrant plantain lily with white flowers is the only strongly fragrant species of the plant; it is also unusual for the flowers to open in the evening and close by morning.

The pollinators of these white flowers are mainly nocturnal moths attracted by the fragrance. However, the moths stay in the flowers for a short time, resulting in a low pollination rate.

Other fragrant plantain lilies do not bloom at night, but early in the morning or during the day. They are popular among bees, and in this case the pollination rate is relatively high.

Some people prefer the leaves of fragrant plantain lily to flowers because of their beautiful patterns.

Fragrant plantain lilies are widely cultivated as a shade-tolerant foliage plants. They grow in fertile, moist, but well-drained soil.

(All photos via VCG)

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