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CURCUMA petiolata 'Emperor'

Image of Curcuma petiolata 'Emperor'

James Burghardt

Family

Zingiberaceae

Botanical Name

CURCUMA petiolata 'Emperor'

Plant Common Name

Emperor Ginger, Queen Lily

Special Notice

This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.

General Description

One of the hardier Curcuma species, queen ginger is a deciduous ornamental that can survive chilling temperatures to zone 7. This native of Burma and Malaysia offers a tropical look to cooler regions and is surprisingly easy to grow.

The broad showy leaves of queen ginger are rich green and ribbed with parallel pleats. These rise to from a neat upright clump that will spread over time via creeping rhizomes. In summer it produces showy columns of yellow and white flowers lined with white and pink bracts (petal-like leaves). The flower columns are often described as cone-like.

Like most Curcuma this species prefers bright indirect light and fertile but well-drained soil. Good draining soil is especially needed during moist winters because the rhizomes of dormant plants are prone to rot. Plants can be divided in fall or spring. Queen ginger is late to emerge from dormancy, so don't lose hope if it is slow to grow in spring.

This is an ideal plant for wooded gardens or sheltered foundation plantings. Queen ginger is also amenable to containers.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 10

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    7 - 10

  • Sunset Zone

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

  • Plant Type

    Tender Perennial

  • Sun Exposure

    Partial Sun

  • Height

    18"-24" / 45.7cm - 61.0cm

  • Width

    24"-28" / 61.0cm - 71.1cm

  • Bloom Time

    Indeterminate

  • Native To

    Southern Asia, India, China, Melanesia, Micronesia, Australia

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Clump-Forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White, Red, Green, Pink, Magenta, Fuchsia, Rose

  • Flower Color Modifier

    Bicolor

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • 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, Houseplant, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Birds

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes