Hedychium spicatum cf Hedychium yunnanense images

Plants offered for sale as Hedychium yunnanense in the UK are sometimes forms of Hedychium spicatum but the two species are quite distinct as is shown here.

The most obvious difference is that the filament of the stamen is more or less abruptly curved to the right (relative to the ovary) in Hedychium spicatum so that the anther lies across the labellum as shown below, left. In Hedychium yunnanense the filament is more or less straight but with a gentle upward curve. The length of the stamen is shorter than or about the same length as the labellum in Hedychium spicatum but much longer than the labellum in Hedychium yunnanense. There are some forms of Hedychium spicatum in which the stamen is slightly longer than the labellum but these have the typical right-handed curve. There is however one very pretty small-flowered form of Hedychium spicatum from the Salween Valley in which the stamen is anomalously long compared to the labellum and straight; this could genuinely be confused with Hedychium yunnanense

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last updated 02/10/2008