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ALPINIA zerumbet

Image of Alpinia zerumbet

Grandiflora

Family

Zingiberaceae

Botanical Name

ALPINIA zerumbet

Plant Common Name

Shell Ginger

General Description

Fragrant in all its parts, this large, clump-forming, evergreen perennial is native to tropical Asia and naturalized in other areas of the tropics. Pendulous clusters of waxy, pearly, pinkish white flowers resembling seashells appear atop tall, strong, large-leaved stems in spring and summer. The interior of each flower is yellow with a red throat. The lance-shaped leaves are variegated in some forms. The stems die to the ground in the colder part of its hardiness range, but regrow from thick rhizomes in spring.

Shell ginger must be grown in fertile, moist, sandy loam, in part sun to part shade. Doing well in fertile sands with a mulch layer, ensure that the soil pH ranges from acidic to slightly alkaline. It makes an excellent tropical understory plant. Cultivar 'Variegata' is smaller in stature and much more beautiful thanks to the green and yellow variegated foliage.

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

    6'-10' / 1.8m - 3.0m

  • Width

    4'-8' / 1.2m - 2.4m

  • 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

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Clump-Forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White, Red, Light Pink

  • Flower Color Modifier

    Multi-Color

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Dark Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    Yes

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    Yes

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Coarse

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Container, Cutflower, Mixed Border, Screening / Wind Break, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes