Kahili ginger lily

Hedychium gardnerianum
So pretty, but so destructive
Connor Cullinan

Ginger lilies of various kinds have taken over the understory in many areas in Ferncliffe. Hedychium gardnerianum or the Kahili ginger lily is particularly troubling in our area, but others can also be found, including Hedychium flavescens (yellow ginger lily) and Hedychium coronarium (white ginger lily).

The Kahili ginger lily has gorgeous, fragrant flowers – we’ve had a suburbanite beg us for rhizomes for her garden. But ropes of these rhizomes crisscross the soil, and very little else survives severe infestation. Digging out the rhizomes and roots is sweaty, exhausting and essential work. The roots will just resprout if left on earth; disposal is a real challenge.