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 '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 coccineum Buch.-Ham. ex Sm. is native to southern China, the Himalayas, India and Indochina where it grows on the edge of forests and in mountain grasslands. Flowers are red to yellow. Both the Plant List and Plants of the World online do not recognize any varieties. But it is possible to acquire plants named as varieties so we are listing some of these below.
Hedychium coccineum var. aurantiacum is not listed in the various data bases as an accepted variety, but Hedychium aurantiacum Roscoe is considered to be a synonym of Hedychium coccineum. It could be considered a cultivar. It is a Himalayan species with glaucous foliage and small orange-red flowers. Photos by Alani Davis.
Hedychium coccineum var. angustifolium (Roxb.) Baker is as suggested by the epithet angustifolium commonly known as narrow leaf ginger. It is synonymous with Hedychium angustifolium Roxb. which is now considered to be a synonym of Hedychium coccineum. Photos by Antigoni Rentzeperis.
Hedychium coronarium J.Koenig 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 '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 '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 densiflorum Wall. '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 Wall. 'Tara' has gray-green foliage and orange flowers in late summer and early autumn. Photos taken August 2009 by 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 '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 '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 '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 flavescens Carey ex Roscoe 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 flavum Roxb. is native to tropical Tibet and China. It has grey green leaves and creamy yellow flowers with a spicy citrus scent. It is a hardy to zone 8 and should be stored in dry peat moss or moved indoors in winter in colder areas. Photo taken November 2017 at the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens by Bob Rutemoeller.
Hedychium forrestii Diels 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 gardnerianum Sheppard ex Ker Gawl. 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 '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 '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 'Lemon Sherbet' is a Tom Wood hybrid with tall stems and pale yellow, scented flowers. Photo by 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 '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 '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 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 'Sherry Baby' is a hybrid by Larry Shatzer. Photos by 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 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 '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 'Tai Emperor' is an hybrid of Doyle Smittle with narrow spikes of pink medium size flowers. Photo by 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 thyrsiforme Sm. is a fragrant species which produces clusters of many small white flowers & is hardy to at least zone 8. Photos by 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.