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KAEMPFERIA elegans

Image of Kaempferia elegans

Family

Zingiberaceae

Botanical Name

KAEMPFERIA elegans

Plant Common Name

Peacock Ginger

Special Notice

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

General Description

Creating a lush, tropical shade groundcover, peacock ginger's mottled, rounded leaves are accompanied with small lavender-purple flowers during the warm months. A clumping, tender perennial that is deciduous in cold or dryness of winter, it is native to southeastern Asia.

Its leaves rise from underground rhizomes that are fleshy, often like small potato tubers. Each leaf blade is oval, often with slightly wavy edges and colored medium to dark green with subdued mottled patterns. Small, four-petaled flowers rise above the foliage from late spring to autumn, colored light lavender-purple. The onset of chilly night temperatures or a tropical dry season results in the leaves dying down, returning only when spring's warmth or rains return.

Plant peacock ginger in fertile, organic-rich soil that is moist but well-drained. While dormant, sharply decrease watering and make sure not to disturb the resting roots while hidden under the soil. Use it as a container plant or as a massed groundcover under a building eave or large shade tree. More bodaciously foliaged cultivars include 'Shazam', 'Satin Checks', 'Emerald Tiger' and 'Brush Strokes', all of which have much more pronounced leaf color contrasts than the species.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 10

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    8 - 12

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, H2, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Tender Perennial

  • Sun Exposure

    Partial Shade

  • Height

    6"-8" / 15.2cm - 20.3cm

  • Width

    10"-12" / 25.4cm - 30.5cm

  • Bloom Time

    Early Summer, Summer, Late Summer, Early Fall

  • Native To

    Southeastern Asia

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Clump-Forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Purple, Lavender

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    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

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Container, Groundcover, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No