Hedychium

Hibiscus rosa sinensis red

Name : Hedychium Common Name : Ginger lily, Butterfly lily, Sontakka Family : Zingiberaceae

Hedychium

Hedychium is a genius of perennial plants native to tropical Asia and Himalayas, commonly growing to between 120 and 180 cm tall. Most species are commonly grown as ornamental plants though they are some mdeicinal values too.

Hedychium coronarium – White ginger Lily

Hedychium flavum - Yellow butterfly ginger lily.

The intricate structure of the inflorescence resembles a butterfly. It also attracts a lot of butterflies. It also makes a good cut flower because of its highly fragrant nature.

Botany
The foliage is an attractive bright green and the undersides of the leaves and the long scarious ligules are silky hairy. It's green stalks grow from thick rhizomes to a height of 3-7 ft (0.9-2.1 m). Leaves are lance-shaped and sharp-pointed, 8-24 in (20-61 cm) long and 2-5 in (5-12.7 cm) wide and arranged in 2 neat ranks that run the length of the stem.The plant usually flowers at about 1.75 m in cultivation. The inflorescence bracts are green, broad and overlapped like the shingles on a roof giving the appearance of a narrow cone 15 cm long or more. Each bract subtends 3 - 6 large, heavily fragrant flowers with lips up to 5 cm across. The flowers are more or less pure white but with a somewhat variable yellow flush to the centre of the labellum and to the anther.

Growth
It needs light shade and a soil that is high in organic matter. Even if the plant on top dies, during favorable climate the underground rhizomes put forth new shoots. The plants should stay wet at all times, if grown in pots; the pots may even be immersed up to the crown in water. Fertilize with rich organic matter. The plants grow vigorously and often become wild and invasive. If grown in pots they quickly grow out of the pots and need to be trimmed.

Propagation is by rhizomes. Divide during the off season and replant fresh rhizomes. Cut old and dried stems. Cutting enhances new growth.

Photograph & Description: Bindu Mohan Camera : Cannon Powershot A450


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