Know the essence of Tuberose

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Tuberose Quick Facts
Name: Tuberose
Scientific Name: Polianthes tuberosa
Origin It is inherent to Central and southern Mexico.
Health benefits Prevention of Anemia, Treat cataract, Useful for insomnia, Relaxation, Promote stamina
Tuberose, Polianthes tuberosa is a perennial plant which is associated to agaves; extracts are used as a middle note in perfumery. The name is derived from Latin tuberosa which means swollen or tuberous. It contains 12 species. Polianthes refers many flowers in Greek. Tuberose is a night blooming plant which is inherent to Mexico. Aztecs call it as Omixochitl or borne flower. It is an extrusive plant in Indian mythology and culture. Flowers are used in garlands, various traditional rituals, and decoration and wedding ceremonies. It is known as Rajnigandha or Raat ki Rani in Hindi. Rajnigandha means night fragrant. In Bengali, it is known as Rajoni-Gandha which means Scent of Night. In China, Wan Xiang Yu meaning night fragrance, in Indonesia bunga sedap malam referring night fragrant flower and in Cuba azucena.

Traditionally tuberose is used in Hawaii for creating leis and was regarded as funeral flower in Victorian times. The scent is described as exotic, complex, floral and sweet. Tuberose is grown in elongated spikes measuring 45 cm long which produce clusters of waxy and fragrant white flowers that blooms from bottom towards top of spike. Leaves are long and bright green which is clustered at the base of the plant.


The plant is hardy perennial and erect measuring 45 to 70 cm high having tuberose rootstock and shallow adventitious roots and short stem. Leaves are elongated linear and bright green which is clustered at the base of the plant. Flowers are simple measuring 45 cm and is unbranched terminal racemous spike having 4 to 6 waxy white flowers that form in pairs. Perianth is funnel shaped or tubular with short subequal and curved oblong to lanceolate tepals and 10 to 15 mm long. Ovary is 3 loculed with numerous ovules. Fruit is a capsule.

Origin and History

Tuberose is inherent to Mexico from where it spread to different parts of the world during 16th century. It is one of the earliest cultivated plants. Nearly 600 years ago, Aztecs were cultivating it. In 1519, the Spanish found Aztecs growing it and took it back to the old World with them. When introduced to Europe, it became a part of moon garden (a collection of white or pastel flowers) which releases an intense fragrance after dusk. Among the sun-shunning Victorian ladies, these gardens were popular, who appreciated a milky pale complexion. When it became much overused at funerals, the plant did fall out of favor. It is believed to be brought to India by Europe in 16th century.

Health Benefits of Tuberose

Some of the health benefits with the use of Tuberose flower:

  1. Prevention of Anemia

Tuberose flower helps to prevent the chances of anemia. It increases the blood level and fitness of the body. It also promotes immune system. The people with low blood pressure or symptoms of anemia get tired easily, feeling of lip and is also encountered by various diseases.

  1. Treat cataract

Tuberose flower is helpful for treating and lowering cataract symptoms. Cataract is a health disorder in visual organ of the body which means eyes that makes vision of sufferer become foggy.

  1. Useful for insomnia

Insomnia is the symptom where one could not be able to sleep. It is helpful for those who are suffering from sleep problem. Use tuberose flower by mixing it with onion, ginger and garlic for lowering insomnia.

  1. Relaxation

Tuberose flower provides calmness and relaxation effects. Those who are depressed or stressed by burden of works or activities then relax some time with the use of aromatherapy of Tuberose flower. Its fragrance makes you feel relaxed and also helps to be calm and lighten the burden of thought which helps to lower stress.

  1. Promote stamina

Besides strengthening immune system and providing relaxation effect. Tuberose flower is also effective for increasing stamina in the body. For this sauté 50 grams of pea, 50 bids of tuberose flower, 1 egg, 100 grams of shrimp and garlic .

  1. Cure for influenza

The mixture of ginger, tuberose flower and garlic leaves provides benefits that help to overcome influenza or cold. It helps to recover quickly from annoying cold.

  1. Provides relief from strep throat

It is helpful to provide relief and heal strep throat. For this, mix tuberose flower with ginger and boil them and drink this mixture regularly after chilled.


There are four types of tuberoses named on the basis of the number of rows of petals they bear. They are,

  1. Single

It has pure white flowers with one row or whorl of corolla segment. Flowers are highly scented and are used extensively for essential oil and concrete extraction.

Description of some important single varieties

a. Arka Nirantaraarka

It has white and single flowers with prolonged blooming.

b. Shringar

It is the hybrid that has been developed from a cross between Single x Double. It has single fragrant flowers on strong and sturdy, medium spikes. Flower buds have slightly pinkish tinge.

c. Prajwal

This hybrid bears single type flowers on tall stiff spikes. It is a cross between ‘Shringar’ x ‘Mexican Single’. Flower buds are slightly pinkish in colour but the flowers are white.

d. Single Mexicanmax

It is a single flowered variety and this variety produces maximum flowers which are considered as lean months for tuberose flowers yield.

  1. Semi-double

It comprises of flowers bearing 2 to 3 rows of corolla segments on straight spikes.

  1. Double

It is a single flowered variety. Flowers have more than three rows of corolla segments. Flower is white with pinkish red tinge. Its main varieties are Pearl for Double, Swarna Rekha, Kalyani Double, Culcutta Double, Hyderabad Double, Vaibhav and Suvasini.

Description of some important double varieties

a. Suvasini

It is a double flowered multi whorled variety which is a cross between ‘Single’ and ‘Double’. It produces more number of flowers per spike. It is multi-whorled with bold, large and pure white fragrant flowers that are borne on long spikes.

b. Vaibhav

It is from the cross ‘Mexican Single’ x IIHR – 2’ and bears double flowers on medium spikes. Flower buds are greenish in colour. Flowers are white.

c. Pearl Double

The flowers have red tinge. It is high flower yielder with quality flowers. It is used mainly for cut flower and bouquet purpose, loose flower and to extract essential oil.

       4.  Variegated

 Silvery white or golden yellow streaks are visible on leaves in this variety.

Traditional uses

  • Tubers are used for treating acute infectious diseases and pyrogenic inflammations, swellings and burns.
  • Tubers are regarded as diuretic and emetic antispasmodic.
  • The dried and powdered tubers are used as an aid for gonorrhea and also used with turmeric to cure rashes in infants.
  • In India, it is used for healing wounds and treats malaria.
  • The poultice made from tubers is used as maturative for formation of pus in pus or abscesses.
  • Bulbs are used to cure rashes in infan.
  • Bulbs are useful to treat gonorrhea.
  • Rub the bulbs with turmeric and butter and apply it to eliminate small red pimples of new born child.
  • Rub the bulb with juice of Durva grass and apply it to swollen inflamed lymph node in groin or armpit.
  • Pour two cups of boiling water over flowers and buds and use it externally use it for enlarged pores, acne and oily skin.
  • Boil 1500 cc of water with 50 tuberose flowers and let it cool. Use it as an eye wash for eye inflammation and cataracts.
  • Use the paste of tuberose roots on affected parts of swelling and ulcers.
  • In order to improve stamina, saute 50 grams peas, 50 tuberose flowers, 100 grams of shrimp, 1 egg, 2 cloves garlic, 10 grams ginger in a cooking oil. Add cornstarch that has been diluted and cook it till done.
  • For influenza, boil 15 grams of ginger, 20 grams of tuberose root, 600 cc water and 2 white leeks with water till it remains half. Take this water twice each 150 cc.
  • Boil 25 grams of fresh bitter, 20 grams of tuberose root and 600 cc water till it is remaining half. Strain and drink it twice a day (each 150 cc) for bad breath, sore throat, voice hoarseness and pain when swallowing food.
  • For rheumatism, boil 400 cc of water with 20 grams of red ginger, 30 grams of root tuberose flowers and brown sugar. Strain and take this twice a day.


  • Tuber possesses lycorine alkaloid that causes vomiting on oral ingestion.
  • Bulbs and flowers are diuretic.

How to Eat         

  • Flowers are consumed as vegetables.
  • In Java, flowers are added to soup.
  • Cooked flowers are added to an Indonesian soy sauce.

Other Facts        

Kenya and Egypt are the leading producers of Tuberose.






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