Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Another Plant ID: Curcuma alismatifolia

Would you be able to help in identifying the flower in the attached picture?
The flower in the picture that you sent to me looks very much like a tropical ginger. Botanically the plant is known as Curcuma alismatifolia, or commonly known as a Siam tulip. I refer to this as a tropical because it would not survive the cold winters here in New York. It is cold hardy in Zones 8-11 which means it might survive the winter in South Carolina, Georgia, or further south into Central America. In full sun Curcuma alismatifolia can grow to 2’ tall and flowers this time of year. It may be a certain cultivar, but I am not able to say which one based on the photograph. Usually you can find this plant for sale in pink, white, or magenta. If you took this picture in the northeast I would believe that someone grew it to be more of an annual. It provides great height and color in a summer garden, not to mention very popular as a cut flower, but would then have to be repurchased and replanted next spring.

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