Saturday, July 10, 2010

Butterfly Ginger

Another of the ornamental ginger in our fragrant garden is possibly one of the most fragrant - the butterfly ginger. There are a few varieties of this butterfly ginger but we only have the white butterfly ginger (Hedychium coronarium var. coronarium).

When the offset (bought from the Kuching Satok Weekend Market) was first planted, it soon died off and we thought - oh well, that's it!. Still we left the plot empty hoping that some part of the offset may still be viable! Indeed, it was - the first new shoot came out about a month or so later. Now it is a spread of over a dozen stems, some reaching to about 75 cm tall.

Each stem of the plants, as it matures, produces at the end of the stem an inflorescence that looks like a green spindle with overlapping bracts.

From each of the overlapping bract, starting from the bottom of the spindle, a white tube-like flower bud will appear.

As the flowers slowly develop ....

The flowers will then each open to release their delightful perfume. The white flowers look like butterflies.

Sadly, each flower only lasts for a day. However, the same stem will produce many flowers opening over several days.

As one walks near the plant in the evening, the light but heavenly fragrance hits you and you just have to stop and enjoy the scented night air. It is certainly one of the plants I like best in the garden and a great plant for any garden. Get it and enjoy!

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