Butterfly Ginger Growing Tips
Butterfly ginger (Cissampelos pareira) is a large composite plant, with aerial stems, which has very thin sterile leaves that grow in bundles and spin widely when cut. The flowers are large and white-to-yellow in color, with a smell resembling lemons or lemongrass. It is a low lying vine with a single stem up to three feet tall and spreading out towards the base. It has pale blue flowers and prefers wet earthy areas. In some areas, it also blooms on fences or walls
Hedychium corniculatum is a deciduous flowering perennial flowering plant from the Zingiberaceae family of plants, native to the eastern Himalayan regions of India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan through north central Myanmar, south central China to Taiwan. As a popular ornamental plant it is a yellowish green perennial, which grows to about ten inches tall. It is widely cultivated in wet areas, being used as a ground cover in gardens, or used as a landscape feature in urban and rural gardens.
Butterfly ginger has a distinctive twisted trunk with fleshy grayish purple leaves, and blooms on new growth at the top of the plant. It has an intense sweet taste, with a unique after taste that is not related to any other garden herb. The tall spiky growth has long narrow leaves and a rounded base. In its adult life, the flowers rise to about two feet tall and have petals that contain four distinctly colored bracts.
Flowering periods are spring and fall. The full blooming growth appears as a mass of overlapping leaflets. The plant is a composite perennial, which is known to self-propagate by splitting and making new shoots from underground stems, producing new growth. This plant is known to grow up to three feet tall and, although not a fast-growing plant, can produce a heavy produce throughout the year. It flowers during May to August.
The butterfly ginger was initially cultivated in China, in Inner Mongolia. It is now grown in tropical areas around the globe, grown in containers for indoor gardening. This adaptable plant thrives on a variety of soil and fertilizer and will grow easily in low fertility soil. It prefers full sun but will tolerate some shade.
In southern Florida, butterfly ginger grows well along the shore and in raised beds. This perennial plant is very hardy and produces dense, branched growth. It is an excellent climbing plant, climbing to more than six feet high. It prefers fertile, well drained soil and will flourish in low lying areas. This plant has few natural enemies, other than deer ants, and is fairly drought resistant.