Hedychium Spicatum is also known as Spiked Ginger Lily, Sandharlika, Kapur kachri, and Takhellei (Manipuri) and is native to Southeast Asia. If you do not like this plant then you cannot be pleased!
This is one of the easiest to grow, and the flowering period is at the early end of the Hedychium spectrum.
Hedychium Spicatum is a very variable species and one of the hardiest, although not the most spectacular of Hedychium, it is one of the most floriferous for the open garden and with flowers from 1 to 1.5m which makes it a worth while plant for the herbaceous border. This plant blooms from August to October.
H. Spicatum has large, spidery, 5cm (2in) wide, clusters of white flowers loosely arranged on the raceme, with only one flower per bract. The white labellum?s of H. Spicatum is deeply cleft with pointed tips and is distinctly stained orange at the base. The filament and anther are also orange. They are lightly perfumed.
The Spicatum plant tends to set seed readily and these seed pods give the bonus of a second season of interest. When ripe, the green seed capsules burst open to reveal the orange linings with the seeds enclosed in bright scarlet arils (fleshy coating around the seeds) in late autumn.
Spiked ginger lily is one of those species that is naturally deciduous before the onset of frost and some forms give good yellow autumn color, before they need to be cut down. Some plants exhibit a marked red/brown tinge on the back of the thin leaves and the intensity of the coloration varies.
In India they burn the dried rhizomes as incense! Additionally powdered rhizome is used for perfuming chewing tobacco, in love spells and for inducing feelings of goodwill, while the oil derived from the rhizomes is used in perfumery but also has antibiotic properties. Finally you can make floor mats from the leaves. The rootstock yields 4% essential oil. This oil, which has a scent somewhat like hyacinths, is so powerful that a single drop will render clothes highly perfumed for a considerable period.
Hardiness zones :
8-11 (-10c/15f, 4c/40f). Hedychium Spicatum requires a rich, moist, well-drained soil and a sunny position. They can grow in a sunny border as a summer sub-tropical bedding plant. The plants are not very hardy; they tolerate temperatures down to about -10øc and can grow at the foot of a south-facing wall in the milder areas, if provided with good mulch in the winter. The tubers should be cover with only a few inches of soil.
Most of the plants, grown in gardens, need fertilizers in order to see them at their best. For this plant, the suggested fertilizer program would be based upon a typical mix of: 3 parts Nitrogen (N), 2 parts Phosphorous (P) and 3 parts Potassium (K). It is better to grow this one in a conservatory or heated greenhouse although it will happily spend the summer months outdoors in light shade.