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ALPINIA zerumbet 'Variegata'

Image of Alpinia zerumbet 'Variegata'

James Burghardt

Family

Zingiberaceae

Botanical Name

ALPINIA zerumbet 'Variegata'

Plant Common Name

Golden Lotus, Shell Ginger, Variegated Shell Ginger

General Description

Fragrant in all its parts, variegated shell ginger is a large, clump-forming, evergreen perennial native to tropical Asia. Pendulous clusters of waxy, pearly, pinkish white flowers with yellow interiors appear atop tall, strong, large-leaved stems in spring and summer. The leaves of the cultivar 'Variegata' are strikingly marked with yellow and green stripes and blotches. The stems die to the ground in the colder part of its hardiness range, but regrow from thick rhizomes in spring.

Variegated shell ginger needs a fertile, moist, sandy loam, in partial sun to partial shade. Too much sun or dry soil results in curling leaves or scrawny growth; deep shade results in a loss of yellow in the foliage. It makes an excellent tropical understory plant, particularly as a contrasting accent plant around dark green or dark red foliaged plants. Its slightly smaller mature size allows it to work as a houseplant. Cut off entire stems and use as a dynamic cutflower filler.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 5

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    8 - 15

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, H2, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Tender Perennial

  • Sun Exposure

    Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    5'-8' / 1.5m - 2.4m

  • Width

    4'-6' / 1.2m - 1.8m

  • Bloom Time

    Late Spring, Early Summer, Summer

  • Native To

    Southeastern Asia, India, Melanesia, Micronesia

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Average

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Clump-Forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White, Light Pink

  • Flower Color Modifier

    Multi-Color

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Yellow, Green, Dark Green, Light Yellow

  • Foliage Color (Spring) Modifier

    Variegated, Striped/Striated

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Yellow, Green, Dark Green, Light Yellow

  • Foliage Color (Summer) Modifier

    Variegated, Striped/Striated

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Yellow, Green, Dark Green, Light Yellow

  • Foliage Color (Fall) Modifier

    Variegated, Striped/Striated

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Yellow, Green, Dark Green, Light Yellow

  • Foliage Color (Winter) Modifier

    Variegated, Striped/Striated

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    Yes

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    Yes

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    Yes

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Coarse

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Container, Cutflower, Feature Plant, Foundation, Houseplant, Mixed Border, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No