Hedychium thyrsiforme W. W. Smith in A. Rees, Cyclopaedia 17: 4 (1811).

Accepted name

Hedychium thyrsiforme W. W. Smith in A. Rees, Cyclopaedia 17: 4 (1811).

Comments Hedychium thyrsiforme grows in clearings in Himalayan warm-temperate forests from Kumaun to the west of Nepal east to Assam. It is sometimes called the Pincushion Hedychium because of the appearance of the spiky flowers emerging from the tightly packed inflorescence bracts.

Tony Schilling collected the plant to the south of Kathmandu in 1996 from which three accessions entered cultivation. However, I ahve not seen any of that material and my material originated from plants imported recently from Ganesh Mani Pradhan.

Hedychium thyrsiforme is not a particularly hardy plant but if well mulched in winter it can be grown in sheltered gardens as a foliage plant. The slightly glossy, dark green leaves are broad and attractively corrugated and borne on arching stems making it an elegant plant for foliage effect. Hedychium thyrsiforme flowers at about 1 m with white flowers with a pale cream flush to the base of the labellum. The flowers are small with very little scent and make an impact en masse rather than individually. Hedychium thyrsiforme flowers reliably only when grown in a cold greenhouse or as a potted conservatory plant. The flowers are borne so late that garden plants do not flower except under exceptional circumstances.


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last updated 01/10/2008