The Ginger Lilies are among the most exotic looking herbaceous plants you can hope to grow in a British garden. Great thick, creeping, ginger smelling rhizomes send up ‘canes’ with bold, alternate leaves in two ranks, around the beginning of April here.
Plant names highlighted in green have images attached, click to view.
A modest selection of the toughest Ginger Lilies, which should grow and flower outside in southern England. A mulch once they die down is a good idea. Sun and warmth makes them flower earlier – getting there before the frost is the aim!
Hedychium densiflorum ‘Assam Orange’ £5
A toughie, but atypical. The flowers are many and small, packed into narrow 15cm spikes. They are a lovely intense burnt orange colour, but don’t have any real fragrance. Free flowering, and one of the first to flower.
Hedychium densiflorum ‘Stephen’ £6
Collected by Tony Schilling in Nepal, this has larger flowers than the previous, cream with orange, and lightly fragrant. Very nice, quite hardy, but slow to propagate.
Hedychium densiflorum Schilling 582 £7
Large flowered like ‘Stephen’ and a nice soft peachy orange. Not often seen.
Hedychium forrestii of gardens £6
White flowered, in September here, and can be extremely tall when established. I think there’s still genuine uncertainty over the identity of this plant.
Hedychium ‘Luna Moth’ £6
The most satisfactory of the various Tom Wood hybrids we have tried over the years. It’s stout and compact, significantly less than 1m tall in pots for us, and really rather hardy. The flowers are white, with just a little yellow in the centre, substantial and superbly fragrant. Not fast to increase, we find.
Hedychium x moorei ‘Tara’ AGM £6
Pretty hardy, and usually early too. It has the exotical spidery flowers one expects of the genus, in orange red. Showy and popular; Schilling’s yet again.
Hedychium yunnanense £5
Notable for being just as chunky as the others, but much shorter: palest yellow flower with red stamen. The first to flower.
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