Hedychium marginatum or other 'red ginger lilies'?

mecontusDecember 3, 2008

I have been searching for a beautiful ginger lily I saw about 20 years ago years ago with dark red flowers. This one looks like it may be it, but it doesn't seem to be in cultivation, or at least nobody is talking about it on the web.. which I'd find hard to believe if its growing out there. Anybody growing Hedychium marginatum?

Another one with red flowers is H. greenii.. but its so hard to tell from photos posted on the Internet. I have a sneaking suspicion it has pink-ish to orange-y flowers like H. coccineum. Can anyone tell me does H. greenii look anything close to this?

Thanks for your help with either one.


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Dave in NoVA • 7a • Northern VA

Here's my greenii if you want to compare. The color is pretty red-orange. Also note the stems and petioles are reddish too.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2008 at 10:42AM
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Thanks for the photo Dave. Your gingers are awesome. I can get a much better idea of the color looking at those. I just got a few greenii and put them in a 3g pot, but they are juvenile (three thin canes about 18 inches tall, no blooms). How tall do yours get?


    Bookmark   December 5, 2008 at 1:57AM
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Dave in NoVA • 7a • Northern VA

I suppose they got around 4-5 feet tall. They are a more tender ginger (probably zone 8 or 9) so I just kept them in pots and brought them in over winter. I ran out of space this year, so they are no more. Where do you live?

    Bookmark   December 5, 2008 at 8:27AM
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I'm in zone 10 so I reckon it would be hardy here. I read somewhere that greenii is a bit smaller than the other hedychiums, but 4-5 feet will definitely work for me.

In the past I've grown H. gardnerianum, coronarium and coccineum--wasn't too happy with the coccineum because I thought it was the one I was looking for and was disappointed.

I figure I might as well give all the reds a try.. now if I can just find H. marginatum.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2008 at 1:29PM
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When did you see that red ginger? I put it in a google search and it comes up as extinct lol

    Bookmark   December 10, 2008 at 2:47PM
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Hi kaos, it was in the late eighties--1987 or thereabouts. I saw that it is listed as extinct or endangered, but remember that quite a few commonly cultivated garden plants are also on those lists. My interest is not in collecting wild plants as much it is that someone may be growing it or know a little more about it.

H. marginatum was first written up in the late 1880's, so maybe in all this time, what with tropical plant enthusiasts or ginger collectors.. it might be out there somewhere. Or maybe somebody might say, "Oh no, I know you'll never find that one!"

Thanks for checking on it tho' :0)

    Bookmark   December 14, 2008 at 6:41PM
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Just an update:

Over the holidays an international expert in gingers actually took a look at my photo, and recognized it as a local [to India] form of H. greenii with 'tubular' bracts.. while most of the ones we grow here have 'imbricate' bracts. The more I consider the evidence, it must have been an H. greenii I saw so long ago. I reckon I'll know for certain this summer when my new greenii's flower!


    Bookmark   January 14, 2009 at 2:43PM
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Hedychium marginatum is presently growing in my place,Manipur (North East India).

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 12:13AM
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Is it true that this plant was named after that beautiful actress/inventor Hedy LaMarr?

    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 12:44PM
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