Hedychium

Hedychium is a rhizomatous, mainly tropical genus in the Zingiberaceae or Ginger family. The genus contains some 40 species of woodland edge plants that normally grow in moist terrain. Many have very attractive flowers, often beautifully perfumed. Common names for the genus include Ginger Lily and Garland Lily, the latter from the use of flowers of the white ginger (Hedychium coronarium) and the yellow gingers (H. flavescens and H. flavum) in Hawaiian floral garlands. Notes by David Victor.


Hedychium 'Anne Bishop' is a slow growing hybrid with large apricot, strong scented inflorescences on thick stems. Photo by Angelo Porcelli

Hedychium 'Anne Bishop', Angelo Porcelli

Hedychium 'Carnival' is a Tom Wood hybrid involving the short epiphytic species Hedychium hasseltii which has fragrant pastel orange-yellow flowers and red, sturdy pseudostems to about 4 ft (1.2 m). Photos by Alani Davis.

Hedychium 'Carnival', Alani DavisHedychium 'Carnival', Alani Davis

Hedychium coccineum var. aurantiacum is a Himalayan species with glaucous foliage and small orange-red flowers. Photos by Alani Davis.

Hedychium coccineum var. aurantiacum, Alani DavisHedychium coccineum var. aurantiacum, Alani DavisHedychium coccineum var. aurantiacum, Alani Davis

Hedychium coccineum var. angustifolium is as suggested by the epithet angustifolium commonly known as narrow leaf ginger. It is synonymous with Hedychium angustifolium. Photos by Antigoni Rentzeperis.

Hedychium coccineum var. angustifolium, Antigoni RentzeperisHedychium coccineum var. angustifolium, Antigoni RentzeperisHedychium coccineum var. angustifolium, Antigoni RentzeperisHedychium coccineum var. angustifolium, Antigoni Rentzeperis

Hedychium coronarium is a very fragrant white-flowered species that typically reaches 5-6 ft in height and is hardy to zone 7. Photo by Alani Davis.

Hedychium coronarium, Alani Davis

Hedychium 'Dave Case' is a hybrid created by Tom Wood. It reaches 7 ft and blooms late summer through the fall. Photos by Alani Davis.

Hedychium 'Dave Case', Alani DavisHedychium 'Dave Case', Alani DavisHedychium 'Dave Case', Alani Davis

Hedychium 'Daniel Weeks' is a hybrid from Russell Adams of Hedychium flavescens and Hedychium gardnerianum. It is a vigorous fragrant hybrid which is earlier than most to begin flowering. It reaches 6 ft and is hardy to at least zone 7. Photos by Alani Davis and Angelo Porcelli.

Hedychium 'Daniel Weeks', Alani DavisHedychium 'Daniel Weeks', Alani DavisHedychium 'Daniel Weeks', Angelo Porcelli

Hedychium densiflorum 'Assam Orange' is said to be one of the hardiest gingers. Although seed is often sold with this name, strictly the name should only be used for the original cultivar collected by Frank Kingdon Ward from the Phutang/Balipara Frontier track at an altitude of 2,000 m (6,500 ft) on 8 July, 1938. The plants shown in the photos by David Pilling were grown from seed sown in 2007 and flowered in late Summer 2008. Plants grow just over three feet high.

Hedychium densiflorum 'Assam Orange', David PillingHedychium densiflorum 'Assam Orange', David Pilling

Hedychium densiflorum 'Tara' has gray-green foliage and orange flowers in late summer and early autumn. Photos taken August 2009 by Jay Yourch.

Hedychium densiflorum 'Tara', Jay YourchHedychium densiflorum 'Tara', Jay Yourch

Hedychium 'Devon Cream' is a hybrid of Heychium coronarium and Hedychium gardnerianum originated at the famous Great Dixter garden in UK. It is a compact plant with upright stems, 5-6 ft (150 -180 cm) with long spikes of pale cream, very scented flowers, starting in early July. It is a floriferous and fast increasing hybrid. Photos by Angelo Porcelli.

Hedychium Devon Cream, Angelo PorcelliHedychium Devon Cream, Angelo Porcelli

Hedychium 'Dr. Moy' is a hybrid of H. flavum × H. coccineum introduced by the botanist, Dr. Moy, now retired, while at San Antonio Botanical Garden. It has variegated foliage and fragrant orange-yellow flowers with orange throats on sturdy stems about 5 ft (1.5 m) tall. Photos by Alani Davis and Jay Yourch.

Hedychium 'Dr. Moy' flowers, Alani DavisHedychium 'Dr. Moy' flowers and foliage, Alani DavisHedychium 'Dr. Moy' flowers and foliage, Jay YourchHedychium 'Dr. Moy' foliage, Jay Yourch

Hedychium 'Elizabeth' was hybridized by Tom Wood and has fragrant pink flowers with a salmon butterfly mark mid-summer to fall on 6 ft stems. Photos by Alani Davis.

Hedychium 'Elizabeth', Alani DavisHedychium 'Elizabeth', Alani DavisHedychium 'Elizabeth', Alani DavisHedychium 'Elizabeth' flowers, Alani Davis

Hedychium 'Filigree' is a hybrid from Tom Wood involving the short epiphytic species Hedychium hasseltii which gets to about 30 in tall and has many fragrant yellow and gold flowers followed by pods that burst open revealing bright orange interiors and scarlet red seeds. Photos by Alani Davis.

Hedychium 'Filigree', Alani DavisHedychium 'Filigree', Alani DavisHedychium 'Filigree', Alani Davis

Hedychium flavescens is a sturdy Hedychium with arching pseudostems with broad leaves. The light yellow flowers are very fragrant and are hardy to at least zone 7. Photo by Alani Davis.

Hedychium flavescens, Alani Davis

Hedychium forrestii is a ginger lily named after George Forrest, the famous Scottish plant hunter who operated primarily in Yunnan, China, from where it originates. Growing to some four ft in height, the plant bears very attractive open spikes of white flowers. Photographed at my home, where I grow it in large pots, protected in a cold greenhouse in the winter when it is dormant. Photo by David Victor.

Hedychium forrestii, David Victor

Hedychium gardnerianum is known as the Kahili Ginger. A tall ginger growing to six feet tall in the right setting, it originates in the northern India Himalaya. In the late summer, this species carries very beautiful flowers, which are very fragrant. Photographed at my home, where I grow it in large pots, protected in a cold greenhouse in the winter when it is dormant. It is hardy to at least zone 7. Flower photos by David Victor and Alani Davis. Photograph of roots with an inch diameter coin by David Pilling.

Hedychium gardnerianum, David VictorHedychium gardnerianum, Alani DavisHedychium gardnerianum, Alani DavisHedychium gardnerianum, David Pilling

Hedychium 'Gold Flame' is a hybrid by Tom Wood. It is reputed to reach 6 ft (2 m) in height and to be hardy to at least zone 7. Photos by Alani Davis.

Hedychium 'Gold Flame', Alani DavisHedychium 'Gold Flame', Alani Davis

Hedychium 'Kanogie' is a hybrid of unknown origin with sturdy 6 ft (2 m) stems and fragrant yellow-orange flowers during late summer and early autumn. Photo taken September 2009 by Jay Yourch.

Hedychium 'Kanogie', Jay Yourch

Hedychium 'Kinkaku' is an old hybrid from Japan with pink, fruit scented flowers and is hardy to at least zone 7. Photos by Alani Davis and Angelo Porcelli.

Hedychium 'Kinkaku', Alani DavisHedychium 'Kinkaku', Alani DavisHedychium 'Kinkaku' flowers, Alani DavisHedychium 'Kinkaku', Alani DavisHedychium 'Kinkaku', Alani DavisHedychium 'Kinkaku', Angelo Porcelli

Hedychium 'Lemon Sherbet' is a Tom Wood hybrid with tall stems and pale yellow, scented flowers. Photo by Angelo Porcelli

Hedychium 'Lemon Sherbet', Angelo Porcelli

Hedychium 'Luna Moth' is a hybrid with compact, sturdy stems and large, very fragrant flowers. The name refers to the flowers, which have some resemblance to the large and beautiful Luna Moth, Actias luna. Tom Wood, the hybridizer, did not reveal the parents, but it involves the short epiphytic species Hedychium hasseltii and averages around 4 ft in height. While it has been reported to be tender and difficult to cultivate, it thrives in moist soil and full to part shade and is hardy to at least zone 7. Photos by Jay Yourch, Alani Davis & Angelo Porcelli catching the sphinx Acherontia atropos visiting the flowers at night.

Hedychium 'Luna Moth', Alani DavisHedychium 'Luna Moth', Jay YourchHedychium 'Luna Moth', Alani DavisHedychium 'Luna Moth', Alani DavisHedychium 'Luna Moth', Alani DavisHedychium 'Luna Moth' with sphinx, Angelo Porcelli

Hedychium 'Peach Delight' is a hybrid introduced by Plant Delights Nursery with tall stems and bicolored pale pink with salmon centred fragrant flowers from late summer onward. Photo by Angelo Porcelli

Hedychium 'Peach Delight', Angelo Porcelli

Hedychium 'Pink Flame' is a hybrid by Tom Wood. It is reputed to reach 6 ft in height and is hardy to at least zone 7. Photo by Alani Davis.

Hedychium 'Pink Flame', Alani Davis

Hedychium 'Pink V' is a hybrid by Tom Wood. The name refers the pattern created on the pseudostems by the pigmented margins of the clasping leaf bases and not to the color of the lightly scented flowers which are a peachy-apricot with a darker salmon mark. This hybrid gets to about 7 ft and is hardy to at least zone 7. Photos by Alani Davis.

Hedychium 'Pink V', Alani DavisHedychium 'Pink V', Alani Davis

Hedychium 'Sherry Baby' is a hybrid by Larry Shatzer. Photos by Alani Davis.

Hedychium 'Sherry Baby', Alani DavisHedychium 'Sherry Baby', Alani DavisHedychium 'Sherry Baby', Alani Davis

Hedychium 'Slim's Orange' has narrow, glaucous foliage and small orange-red flowers. It's compact, about 4 ft (1.2 m) tall, and reliably blooms in June, much earlier than any other hedychium, repeating later in the season as most other hedychiums are just getting started. Photos taken June 2007 by Jay Yourch.

Hedychium 'Slim's Orange', Jay YourchHedychium 'Slim's Orange', Jay YourchHedychium 'Slim's Orange', Jay Yourch

Hedychium sp. or hybrid is of unknown origins, but appears to be intermediate between Hedychium coronarium and Hedychium thyrsiforme. Whether these species are related to the actual origins of this plant is speculative at best. It reaches 5 ft in height and is hardy to at least zone 8. Photos by Alani Davis.

Hedychium coronarium × H. thyrsiforme?, Alani DavisHedychium coronarium × H. thyrsiforme?, Alani DavisHedychium coronarium × H. thyrsiforme?, Alani Davis

Hedychium 'Tahitian Flame' is a sport of Hedychium 'Dr. Moy' with bolder variegation selected by Terra Nova Nursery. It is a strong grower, with upright stems and orange mild scented flowers. Photos by Angelo Porcelli.

Hedychium 'Tahitian Flame', Angelo PorcelliHedychium 'Tahitian Flame' leaves, Angelo Porcelli

Hedychium 'Tai Emperor' is an hybrid of Doyle Smittle with narrow spikes of pink medium size flowers. Photo by Angelo Porcelli.

Hedychium 'Tai Emperor', Angelo Porcelli

Hedychium 'Tai Mammoth' is an hybrid of Doyle Smittle with large flowers, resembling a bigger Hedychium coronarium but with a longer blooming season. Photos by Angelo Porcelli.

Hedychium 'Tai Mammoth', Angelo PorcelliHedychium 'Tai Mammoth', Angelo Porcelli

Hedychium thyrsiforme is a fragrant species which produces clusters of many small white flowers & is hardy to at least zone 8. Photos by Alani Davis.

Hedychium thyrsiforme, Alani DavisHedychium thyrsiforme, Alani DavisHedychium thyrsiforme, Alani Davis

Hedychium 'Vanilla Ice' is a sport of H. 'Dr. Moy' with more dramatic variegation selected by Messenbrink's Nursery of Nashville, North Carolina. The variegation is stable and the plant retains good vigor. Photos by Alani Davis and Jay Yourch.

Hedychium 'Vanilla Ice', Alani DavisHedychium 'Vanilla Ice', Jay YourchHedychium 'Vanilla Ice', Jay YourchHedychium 'Vanilla Ice', Jay Yourch

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