From the eastern Himalayas comes this very handsome and most attractive plant in the Ginger family. The Hedychium Ellipticum is also known as Shaving Brush Ginger or Rock butterfly lily. You would want to own this plant if only for its fine foliage consisting of broad, dark green leaves up to a foot long on stems neatly edged with dark red; but the flowers – magnificent!
Erupting from their supporting bracts, they form an ice cream cone of a dense mass, four inches across, of white petals (actually individual florets) that contrast beautifully with the conspicuous, far-protruding, stout orange stamens. This is a plant to admire in your greenhouse or conservatory. They perform beautifully in large containers as well as in the garden bed, bringing a sense of the tropics wherever you need it.
Ellipticum offers broad, deep green leaves up to 1 foot in length, with heavy ribbing for a distinctive texture. The arching stems and leaf edges glow crimson, a perfect complement to frothy white flowers erupting with bright red elongated stamens. The stems grow upwards, up to 4ft high and, when mature, lean outwards thereby displaying the flower clear of the leaves. The spicy, clove-like fragrance will encourage you to linger… along with butterflies and hummingbirds.
The plant produces its magnificent flowers at about 1.2 m. The cone-like structure from which emerges a mass of densely packed white flowers with long, projecting orange filaments, last for a period of a week or more. Each flower just gets better and better as more and more flowers open. The flowers are flat-topped giving a very distinctive appearance looking like a pincushion. They bloom from late summer into fall.
Hardiness zones :
8-10(-10c/15f, 1c/35f). Like the majority of Hedychium, H. Ellipticum appreciates a rich ground, drained well and remaining fresh in summer. Regular watering for the period of growth will support the growth of the plant. The Ellipticum is very unusual ginger that needs semi shade to prevent leaf scorch and to see the flowers at their best. In colder climate, lift the plants in fall and store them indoors. Place it in full sun only in coolest regions and protect the roots from frost.