Bright yellow flowers

Alternate leaf arrangement

Leaves and buds

Flowers with prominent orange/pink stamens

Plant base, new soots are pink/red

Scientific Name

Hedychium gardnerianum Ker Gawl.



Common Names

ginger lily, yellow ginger lily






Distinguishing Characteristics

This is a perennial herb with 1-2.5m tall leafy shoots.

Leaves are pear shaped to elliptic or lance shaped to 40 cm long and 15 cm wide. Leaves are entire (having smooth edges) or are very shallowly lobed, and hairless. The leaf sheaths are also hairless. 

Ligule (appendage between the leaf and stem) is a broad and smooth membrane, up to 2.5 cm long and 2 cm wide. 

Inflorescence (a group of flowers) is spike-like and erect. Flowers are bright yellow, fragrant and appear in Summer to Autumn.

Fruit is an oblong capsule, which is thin-walled with orange valves within. Seeds are bright scarlet, shiny and numerous. 

This plant forms clumps with deep matted roots. It is found in moist places. This plant is spread by people dumping garden waste, it is also spread by birds and by water runnoff carrying seed and plant pieces.

The best way to remove this plant is to dig it out.

Other plants easily confused with this plant

Plants confused with Ginger Lily are other species of Hedychium which are also introduced garden plants, generally with red or white flowers. Another is Canna indica (Canna Lily or Indian shot) introduced from South America, it has broader leaves which are green to purple, and flowers which may be yellow, orange or red, the seed capsule is prickly.

Sources & References

Wagner, W.L., D.R. Herbst and S.H. Sohmer. 1999. Manual of the flowering plants of Hawai'i. Revised edition. University of Hawai'i Press, Honolulu. p. 1623

"Plantnet FloraOnline"  (2005)

"Flora of New South Wales" editor Gwen J. Harden, Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney


Prepared by Justin KY Chu, July 2005

Checked by IEWF, October 2006