Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Hedychium coccineum 'Tara' is my favorite plant in the garden (this week)…


And with those big orange blooms why wouldn’t it be? I bought this ginger at Rare Plant Research in 2010. That year, and the following two, there was only a pair of stems….but this year three! (and three blooms to top them) While the foliage is nice the flowers are what it’s all about with this plant...

Hedychium coccineum 'Tara' is one of the early blooming gingers, and in my experience it blooms every year without fail. I've grown a couple of others (long gone and almost forgotten) but this is the only one I've had success with. According to San Marcos Growers the fragrance of the flowers can be compared to that of a gardenia, but I sadly don’t get a fragrance from them.
That mysterious black thing on the right? It's just the hose...

SMG also notes that: “It was originally identified as a selection of Hedychium coccineum by Brian Mathew, but more recently as a form or hybrid of Hedychium gardnerianum by Hedychium specialist Tom Wood.” For purposes of this post I’m going with the name I bought it under.

The stats:
  • perennial from Nepal, in the Zingiberaceae (Gingers) family
  • grows 6-8 ft tall, 3-4 wide clumps
  • blooms in late summer
  • likes plenty of water and sun to part sun conditions
  • reportedly winter hardy down to 10F, of course dying to the ground and regrowing in the spring.


While taking these photos I noticed the interesting contrast between the upright orange flowers on ‘Tara’ and the pendulant orange flowers on the Grevillea victoriae on the right (above).

Of course a tropical flower like this deserves a proper blue sky background.

If you've got one please share your favorite plant of the week in the comments below! Here are a few recent fav's from other bloggers which you might enjoy:

Jenni at Rainy Day Gardener: My Favorite Plant of the Week: Heather! Calluna Vulgaris 'Firefly'
Jane aka the MulchMaid: My favorite plant in the garden this week
Peter the Outlaw: Billardiera longiflora, My Favorite Plant in the Garden (this week.)
Kris who's Late to the Garden Party: My favorite plant this week: Brugmansia
Ricki at Sprig to Twig: Opuntia microdasys ‘Bunny Ears’
Hoov and her Piece of Eden: Favorite Plant of the Week

All material © 2009-2013 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

21 comments:

  1. Oh, I love this one, it's yummy! I might just have to give it a try. I planted a Hedychium my first year here, and it didn't return after the winter. I had it in a sort of shady spot with really good drainage. Maybe it's time to try again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think sun is the key! Not that I really have any idea but this one definitely gets more sun than the others that I've lost. Oh and because there were a ton of other roots in the area I didn't dig as deep a hole as I normally would have, it's planted kind of high...which may provide better drainage?

      Delete
  2. This is a gorgeous plant! I see gingers at Jungle Fever every year and tried a couple in the past, putting them in situations not to their liking. One didn't survive its first winter and the other, planted in sand in too little light, came back but never bloomed. Maybe I should try again because yours is so beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
  3. An (almost) hardy ginger - I love it! Tropical-looking foliage and a flower color I always want more of in the garden. I'll watch for this one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a good one Jane...I can see it in your garden!

      Delete
  4. I was going to say it looks like Hedychium gardnerianum. I love the flowers but in my experience, they don't last at all, just a few days. It's like cactus flowers: You wait 360+ days for them bloom and they're gone in a heartbeat.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gerhard I am consistently amazed at your plant knowledge, seriously!

      As for the flowers they don't last as long as I would like, but have never thought of them as fleeting. Maybe it's your heat? I do like the way the bloom structure looks after the flowers have dried up and fallen off too!

      Delete
  5. According to San Marcos Growers the fragrance of the flowers can be compared to that of a gardenia, but I sadly don’t get a fragrance from them.

    Technically, "much, much, much less fragrant than a gardenia" is a comparison. Perhaps that's what they meant.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've been sticking my nose up against these all hours of the day and I get nothing. Then again I rarely get a sent from Witch Hazel either and all the world seems to think they smell divine.

      Delete
  6. That is such a perfect shade of orange!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hedychiums make great foliage plant but when they start flowering late in the summer it's such a fab bonus!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was just starting to worry mine weren't going to flower this year when "hello!" the blooms shot out in record time.

      Delete
  8. Oooo la la! that is one fabulous plant and I'm insanely jealous. I cannot get hedychium to bloom for me. I think my season is just too short or something. I'm going to have to try again though after seeing your pics! That would look incredible in the orange section of my tropical border.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes it would! I wish you luck...and an extended growing season next year.

      Delete
  9. Well Loree, here is my contribution for "Favorite Plant This Week"

    http://deanneart.blogspot.com/2013/08/my-favorite-plant-in-garden-this-week.html

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thanks for noting my blog on your post yesterday, Loree. Here's my contribution to this week's collection of favorite plants: http://krispgarden.blogspot.com/2013/08/my-favorite-plant-this-week-euphorbia.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome, I didn't want anyone to miss the great in-between posts out there!

      Delete
  11. That is lovely! I just found a tag of a hardy ginger I brought home from Far Reaches Farm that I saw in a famous plant explorer's garden (you know who). Cautleya gracilis, very cool. Can't write about it as a fave because it never returned after winter! But this one is literally a weed here, and you know it well: http://agrowingobsession.com/?p=46422

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh my...that Cautleya gracilis is gorgeous! I can see why you fell for it. As for your weed, it's pretty fabulous too!

      Delete

Thank you for taking the time to comment. Comment moderation is on (because you know: spam), I will approve and post your comment as soon as possible!