Hedychium “Tara” – Ginger Lily

This is another contender for my favorite plant in the garden (for today obviously).  It is a tender perennial originating from Nepal and has to be thickly mulched to protect it over winter.  It has been building up to flowering all summer and has finally come into bloom this week and will continue until October if we are lucky. It certainly is worth waiting for.  Once you get it through the winter it is a breeze, touch wood not tasty to deer nor slug nor vole.  The flowers are exotic and mildly fragrant and the plant can reach an impressive 5ft tall.  It is not called the Ginger Lily because of the beautiful colour of its flowers but because it is in the family Zingiberaceae and related to the culinary ginger Zingiber.   We also grow Hedychium “Assam Orange” with its slimmer orange flower, which very kindly seeds itself around, and Hedychium greenei which has dark green foliage with a beautiful claret contrast underneath and flowers leaning towards red.   Greenei is slower to flower than the others as it is officially an evergreen plant but in a desperate attempt to survive the cold jettisons its leaves in a harsh winter.  As it is not designed to be deciduous it takes a bit longer to recover.  I am optimistic it will flower in the next few weeks.  All these plants enjoy semi-shade and monsoon conditions – welcome to North Devon!


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