Alphabetical Plant Listing

Alpinia zerumbet (Shell Ginger)

Indian Shell Flower, Pink Porcelain Lily, Shell Ginger, Alpinia speciosa, Alpinia nutans


Alpinia zerumbet (Shell Ginger) is a tropical evergreen perennial forming a lush upright clump of lance-shaped, shiny, dark green leaves, 2 ft. long (60 cm), with distinct parallel veins. The long, graceful leaves give off a ginger aroma when crushed. Waxy white or pinkish, shell-like, fragrant flowers adorned with red, purple or brown hang in clusters from the ends of arching leafy stems in summer. Shell Ginger grows from rhizomes which creep along the soil surface. Shell Ginger is commercially grown as both a spice, food, medicine and as an ornamental in most tropical regions of the world today. Great for tropical gardens, containers, greenhouses, as a houseplant or garden annual, it creates a wonderful, dense foliage display when planted in mass.

  • Grows up to 8-10 ft. tall (240-300 cm) and 3-4 ft. wide (90-120 cm). Will reach 4-8 ft. tall (120-240 cm) in the greenhouse and 3-4 ft. tall (90-120 cm) as a houseplant
  • Performs best in full sun or part shade in organically rich, medium moisture, well-drained soils. Appreciates some afternoon shade in hot summer climates. Do not allow the soil to dry out. Best in a wind-sheltered location.
  • No serious pest or disease issues. Keep an eye out for mites.
  • Prune as needed to control plant size.
  • Propagated by division of the crowded clumps.
  • Native to northeastern India, Burma (Myanmar), Indo-China, China and Japan, and has been actively cultivated as an ornamental across Southeast Asia and many tropical and subtropical countries.
  • Alpinia zerumbet is considered a noxious weed in Cuba, and invasive in many Pacific countries including Fiji, French Polynesia, Palau, and New Caledonia. The Global Invasive Species Programme lists A. zerumbet as an invasive weed in South Africa.

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Requirements

Hardiness 8 – 11
Heat Zones 10 – 11
Climate Zones 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, H1, H2
Plant Type Perennials
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 3' – 10' (90cm – 3m)
Spread 2' – 4' (60cm – 120cm)
Spacing 24" – 48" (60cm – 120cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Average
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Showy, Evergreen
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Patio and Containers
Garden Styles Mediterranean Garden

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While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 8 – 11
Heat Zones 10 – 11
Climate Zones 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, H1, H2
Plant Type Perennials
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 3' – 10' (90cm – 3m)
Spread 2' – 4' (60cm – 120cm)
Spacing 24" – 48" (60cm – 120cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Average
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Showy, Evergreen
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Patio and Containers
Garden Styles Mediterranean Garden

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