Hedychium gardnerianum

Scientific nameHedychium gardnerianum
English: kahili garland lily, kahili ginger, red ginger lily, wild ginger
Viet Nam: gung dai
Robust, evergreen, with creeping underground stems or rhizomes [1–2 (–2.5) m high], branching surface rhizomes that can form dense mats up to 1 m thick.
Leaves: Bright green or greyish-green, glossy, upper surface hairless, lower surface sparsely hairy, narrow, tapering with pointed tips (20–45 cm long and 10–15 cm wide), margins entire; leaves held alternately on stem with a long base that sheaths the stem.
Flowers: Yellow in large clusters (15–45 cm long and 15–20 cm wide) at tips of stems; each flower has a slender red tube.
Fruits: Capsules (dry fruits that open at maturity), thin-walled (about 1.5 cm long) with three compartments.
Bhutan, India and Nepal.
Medicine and ornament.
Roadsides, disturbed areas, plantations, forests, forest edges/gaps, riverbanks and damp areas.
Forms dense stands out-competing native species for light, space, nutrients and moisture, and its shade tolerance makes it able to thrive in forests. The thick rhizome mats also prevent the establishment of other species. Populations are now found on all islands in Hawaii (Smith, 1985). Its aggressive growth and shade tolerance means that it can form dense thickets in the understorey of open and closed-canopy Metrosideros polymorpha Gaud. (Myrtaceae) rainforests as well as in open habitats and forest edges around the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park (Anderson and Gardner, 1999). It threatens primary forest remnants in La Réunion and continuous expansion of large stands may endanger endemic lichens, vascular plants, molluscs and arthropods in the Azores. Infestations on Sao Miguel Island also threaten the Azores bullfinch. During rains, large infestations growing on steep slopes often become heavy with absorbed water and slip down slopes, contributing to erosion and gully formation.
Witt, Arne. 2017. Guide to the Naturalized and Invasive Plants of Southeast Asia. CAB International. Retrieved from http://www.cabi.org/cabebooks/ebook/20173158961 on 8 October 2018
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Last updated on 02/14/2019 00:02