The tuberose, is a perennial plant related to the agaves, extracts of which are used as a note in perfumery. The common name derives from the Latin tuberosa, meaning swollen or tuberous in reference to its root system. Polianthes means “many flowers” in Greek. In Mexican Spanish, the flower is called nardo or vara de San José, which means “St. Joseph’s staff”. This plant is called as rajanigandha in India, which means ‘fragrant at night’. It is called kupaloke in Hawaiian.
The tuberose is a night-blooming plant native to Mexico, as is every other known species of Polianthes. It grows in elongated spikes up to 18 in long that produce clusters of fragrant waxy white flowers that bloom from the bottom towards the top of the spike. It has long, bright green leaves clustered at the base of the plant and smaller, clasping leaves along the stem. Epiphyllous adhesion of stamens is seen in the flower.