Hedychium yunnanense F. Gagnepain, Bull. Soc. Bot. France 54: 164 (1907).

Accepted name

Hedychium yunnanense F. Gagnepain, Bull. Soc. Bot. France 54: 164 (1907).

Comments Hedychium yunnanense was as the name suggests first collected in Yunnan but it also grows at high altitude in northern Vietnam and Thailand.

Hedychium yunnanense is the first Hedychium to flower in summer with delicate, pleasantly scented but rather short-lived flowers. The true petals are yellowish but the staminodes and labellum are almost pure white when freshly emerged although they darken to yellow as the flower ages. The staminodes are rather narrow and the labellum itself is deeply split into two narrow lobes. The orange stamen of Hedychium yunnanense is very long in comparison to the labellum and the projecting stamens give the inflorescence a characteristic appearance.

Because Hedychium yunnanense is not very well known there is some confusion between it and Hedychium spicatum. Vegetatively, Hedychium yunnanense is a much shorter plant than Hedychium spicatum, flowering as short as 50 cm and with relatively shorter, broader dark green leaves. However, the chief distinguishing feature of Hedychium yunnanense over Hedychium spicatum is the nature and length of the orange stamen. In Hedychium yunnanense the stamen is more or less straight with a gentle upward curve. In Hedychium spicatum the stamen is more or less abruptly curved to the right, relative to the ovary, so that the anther lies across the labellum. The stamen is also much longer than the labellum in Hedychium yunnanense but about the same length or shorter than the labellum in Hedychium spicatum. This gives a completely different appearance to the inflorescence. I have seen three different accessions of Hedychium yunnanense and a dozen or more Hedychium spicatum.  The differences between Hedychium yunnanense and Hedychium spicatum are further discussed here.

We are now able to offer two forms of Hedychium yunnanense, the first collected by Roy Lancaster (L 633) and the second a Crg Farm introduction (BWJ 7900). However, Hedychium yunnanense remains relatively little known and it is likely that forms of Hedychium spicatum are still being listed as Hedychium yunnanense in the nursery trade.


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last updated 02/10/2008