Thursday, August 1, 2013

Hedychium coccineum

Hedychium coccineum is one of the showiest species of ginger. Peak bloom occurs in early to mid-summer on the current year's growth, but a few blooms may appear in the late summer to fall months on late-emerging canes.

Each cane grows erect to a height of 6-7 feet and is topped by a spiky inflorescence. Each individual "spike" on the inflorescence produces several orange-red flowers, opening over a period of a few days. They are only faintly fragrant, but they do attract hummingbirds.

Even after the blossoms fade away, the inflorescence maintains a strong architectural appearance.

The canes are thick and sturdy, with a purplish-gray coloration when they first emerge.

Leaves are two-ranked and about a foot in length.

Hedychium coccineum is also known as orange gingerlily, scarlet gingerlily, and orange bottlebrush ginger. In addition, there are several named cultivars and hybrids that are commercially available. It is native to the eastern Himalayan region in Asia and grows in full sun to part shade. It is recommended for USDA Zones 7-10, being evergreen at the warm end of the range and grown as a deciduous perennial in colder zones.

In South Africa it's considered an invasive species due to its rapid spread by seed.


Bernie H said...

Such a great looking plant. I really must try and get some for my new garden bed. You've reminded me just how spectacular the flower spikes are!

Grower Jim said...

Indeed, this is a plant that really makes a statement in the garden!

lotusleaf said...

This plant grows wild in Sikkim in north-east India. I will be looking out for some for my garden too.

Grower Jim said...

lotusleaf, I'm sure you'll find this a rewarding plant to grow!

Anonymous said...

Would this grow in England

Grower Jim said...

It should! If you live in an area that gets freezes in the winter, you could protect it in the ground or grow it in a container that could be easily moved inside on cold nights.