Dichorisandra thyrsiflora

Family: Commelinaceae 

Common name: Blue Ginger

 

Grown in both old and new gardens, the blue ginger from Brazil is highly attractive with its deep green, glossy leaves and deep electric-blue flowers with yellow anthers.

 

The dense spiral habit of the leaves tends to hide their purple tones on the undersides..

 

The erect stems are known to die down in severe winters and shoot from their short rhizomatous root system in late spring. Periods of drought may also cause this plant to go into dormancy.

 

The individual blue flowers are only 2cm across but are borne in dense clusters (racemes) up to 20cm long though summer and autumn.

 

Plants are capable of growing up to 2m tall although it is more commonly used as an understorey plant in tropical gardens.

 

Rarely prone to any serious pest problems, it has been known to be attacked by mealy bugs and grasshoppers.



Best growing conditions:

-          dappled shade

-          prefers coastal subtropical and tropical gardens

-          can be grown in colder climates with extra care

-          moist fertile soil, heavily composted and mulched is ideal

-          fertilise regularly with an organic fertiliser blend

-          not tolerant of frost or drought

-          plants damaged by frost, hail or sunburn can be cut down to the ground and encouraged to re-shoot.

 

Landscape uses:

Use this plant as an understorey in tropical garden design.

Either plant this as a single specimen or in a mass display.

 

 

Written by Paul Plant, Editor of subTropical Gardening magazine - www.stgmagazine.com.au





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