Hedychium urophyllum C. Loddiges, Bot. Cab. 18: t. 1785 (1832).

Accepted name

Hedychium urophyllum C. Loddiges, Bot. Cab. 18: t. 1785 (1832).

Comments Hedychium urophyllum is another recent and exciting addition to the range of Hedychium likely to be successful in mild UK gardens.  It is also another Hedychium about which rather little is known. Some sources give the natural range of the species as being restricted to Meghalaya State in India but this collection is from northern Vietnam where it was found by a Heronswood-Crg Farm expedition. The plant was initially though to be a Cautleya rather than a Hedychium species and Dan Hinkley's collection notes are as follows:

Cautleya sp. HWJ 99604 [not 684 or 99684 which is Hedychium maximum]
From a remarkable day on Tram Ton Pass in N. Vietnam, my collection of this Hedychium relative with broadly lanceolate leaves to 2ft, on reddish stems to 4-5 ft terminating in white fragrant flowers followed by handsome crops of red fleshy fruit.  The flowers fade to white as they desiccate but when fresh are bright yellow.

The plant grows to about 1.2 m tall under cold glass but is shorter when grown outdoors. The stems and ligules are red tinted and the undersides of the leaves are also flushed red. The inflorescence is composed of red-flushed (in this selection), imbricate bracts and is about 15 cm long overall. All parts of the fragrant flowers are bright golden yellow and up to about 5 flowers are borne in each bract.

Initial experience with this plant suggests that it is a good candidate for the garden flowering in early autumn and the plant does not die down unless it is frosted. It may perhaps prove marginal in less favoured gardens but is well worth trying outdoors once you have sufficient stock to split. If you are any doubt, treat Hedychium urophyllum as a container plant so that at least it can be brought under protection in autumn.


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last updated 09/10/2008