Dichorisandra thyrsiflora

Blue Ginger

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Description

Blue ginger (Dichorisandra thyrsiflora), a member of the Commelinaceae family, is a tropical plant that resembles ginger in growth and habit but is actually related to the spiderworts (genus Tradescantia). This striking plant is native to the tropical woodlands of North, Central, and South America, especially in the Atlantic forest vegetation in Brazil. It is cultivated for its handsome, spotted stems and large, shiny foliage, which is held horizontally, surmounted by intense blue flowers. The lance-shaped leaves grow in a spiral arrangement around its tall stem. The leaf sheaths wrap the stems, and the fleshy, cane-like stems emerge from underground rhizomes. The upright, three-petaled flowers have three sepals, small bright yellow stamens, and a tricornered central white "eye." Individual blooms are one-half inch in diameter and grow in terminal flower clusters up to 8 inches long. This is one of the few tropical plants that blooms in a cool blue; most tropicals bloom in the warmer yellow, orange, or red hues, so it is a prized selection for moist, shady areas of the outdoor tropical landscape garden, where it can grow to 6 feet.

First described by naturalist Johann Christian Mikan in 1823, blue ginger was first grown in England in 1822 and is recorded in Sir William MacArthur's catalogue in 1857 of plants he grew in Camden, southwest of Sydney.

Soil
Moist
Plant Shape
Upright
Exposure
Full Sun, Partial Shade
Bloom Time
January - February, March - April, May - June, July - August, September - October, November - December
Bloom Color
Blue
Landscape Use
Bedding or Border, Specimen Plant
Wildlife Interest
Attracts Butterflies
Plant Type
Bulb
Hardiness Zone
8 - 11