GINGER LILY

FAMILY: Zingiberaceae | GENUS: HEDYCHIUM

TYPE
  • Perennials
SUN EXPOSURE
  • Full Sun
  • Partial Shade
WATER
  • Ample Water

Plant Details

Native to India and tropical Asia, these old Southern favorites combine handsome foliage with showy, often deliciously fragrant flowers. Rich green, alternate leaves ascend stems growing from stout rhizomes. In late summer or early fall, blossoms in dense spikes open from cones of overlapping bracts at the ends of stalks. Plants are evergreen in the Tropical South, deciduous elsewhere. Use them in borders or grow in containers. Southern specialty growers offer dozens of species and selections in heights from 29 feet., in colors ranging from white and cream through pink to redand a host of yellow, orange, and salmon shades.

red ginger lily

hedychium coccineum

  • Zones LS, CS, TS; USDA 8-11.
  • To 69 feet tall, with leaves to 20 inches long and 2 inches wide.
  • Particularly showy, bearing orange-scarlet flowers with prominent red stamens on blossom spikes to 10 inches long.
  • Disney has bluish gray foliage and reddish stems and leaf undersides.
  • Slims Orange' is dwarf, to just 3 feet tall.

common ginger lily, butterfly ginger

hedychium coronarium

  • Zones MS, LS, CS, TS; USDA 7-11.
  • To 37 feet high, with leaves 824 inches long and 25 inches wide.
  • White flowers in 6- to 12 inches-long clusters are especially fragrant; good cut flowers.

golden butterfly ginger

hedychium flavum

  • Zones LS, CS, TS; USDA 8-11.
  • Old Southern favorite.
  • To 57 feet tall, with oblong leaves 420 inches long and 14 inches wide.
  • Dense, 6 inches spikes of particularly fragrant, rich yellow-orange flowers with orange spots on the tips.

kahili ginger

hedychium gardnerianum

  • Zones LS, CS, TS; USDA 8-11.
  • To 8 feet high, with leaves 818 inches long, 46 inches wide.
  • Pure yellow flowers with dark orange stamens are borne in 112 feet-long spikes.
  • Compactum grows about 4 feet tall.

hedychium greenii

  • Zones LS, CS, TS; USDA 8-11.
  • To 35 feet tall.
  • Leaves 810 inches long, 2 inches wide are held on red stems; orange-red flowers in 5 inches spikes.

hedychium hasseltii

  • Zones LS, CS, TS; USDA 8-11.
  • Small plant (to just 2 feet.), with broadly lance-shaped leaves to 112 feet long.
  • Spidery-looking white flowers in slender spikes.
  • Seedpods split to reveal pretty red seeds.

hedychium hybrids

  • Zones MS (lower half), LS, CS, TS; USDA 7-11.
  • These hybrids feature excellent foliage and blossoms; all are worth trying.
  • Leaves are typically large, lance shaped, and rich green.

Anne Bishop

  • Choice plant to 5 feet tall, with large spikes of rich golden orange flowers that fade to golden yellow.
  • Very fragrant.

Daniel Weeks

  • Among the longest-blooming ginger lilies, with stems to 4 feet tall, carrying yellow flowers with a darker gold throat.
  • Grows quickly, making a clump 34 feet wide in its second year.
  • Honeysuckle fragrance.

Doctor Moy

  • Handsome foliage speckled with white.
  • Stalks to 3 feet tall bear peachy orange blooms with a darker orange throat.
  • Fragrant.

Elizabeth

  • Among the most impressive of the ginger lilies, with towering 9 feet-tall stems carrying huge reddish orange flowers.
  • Honeysuckle fragrance.

Flaming Torch

  • Robust grower to 7 feet tall, with foot-long spikes of orange flowers; may bloom once in midsummer and again in fall.

Golden Butterfly

  • Stems 6 feet tall are topped with bright orange flowers with red stamens.

Kinkaku

  • To 6 feet tall, with large, pale peach flowers.

Luna Moth

  • Compact growth to 34 feet tall, with large, fragrant, white flowers.

Moy Giant

  • To 7 feet tall, featuring large clusters of pale yellow blossoms with a darker yellow throat.
  • Very fragrant.

Palani

  • Strong grower to 8 feet tall, with bright orange blooms.

Pink V

  • Grows 57 feet tall, with lightly scented, creamy apricot flowers and red stamens.
  • Citrus fragrance.

Pradhan

  • To 7 feet Creamy white blooms with peach-tinged yellow throats and pink stamens.

Tara

  • To 6 feet tall, with gray-green leaves and bottlebrush spikes of bright orange blooms.

Vanilla Ice

  • To 3 feet tall, with bright green leaves heavily striped and speckled in creamy white.
  • Flowers are peachy pink.
  • Remove any larger, nonvariegated shoots promptly.
  • Very fragrant.

Ginger lilies need moist, well-drained soil that contains lots of organic matter. Cutting back old stems after the flowers fade encourages new growth. Propagate by division in late fall or early spring.

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