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Photograph by: peganum
Hedychium spicatum is a Perennial up to 1.50 metres tall.
It has edible, medicinal and miscellaneous uses.
E. Asia - Himalayas.
Forest clearings, shrubberies, 1800 - 2800 metres[
] from Himachal Pradesh to Arunachal Pradesh.
Requires a rich moist soil and a sunny position[
]. They can be grown in a sunny border as a summer sub-tropical bedding plant[[
Plants are not very cold-hardy, tolerating temperatures down to about -2°c. They can be grown at the foot of a south-facing wall if given a good mulch in the winter[
]. Plants succeed outdoors in Tresco Gardens, Isles of Scilly. This species succeeds outdoors in most parts of S. England, especially if the rhizomes are mulched with dry leaves in the autumn[
]. Plants have been known to withstand temperatures down to -16°c in Germany[
Plants seem to be immune to the predations of rabbits[
The tubers should only just be covered with soil[
The flowers are sweetly scented, the scent being most pronounced towards evening[
Both the bruised and the dried root are very aromatic with a fragrant, somewhat pungent smell that is similar to orris root but more powerful[
Fruit - cooked[
]. Eaten in savoury dishes with lentils[
The rootstock is carminative, emmenagogue, expectorant, stimulant, stomachic and tonic[
]. It is useful in the treatment of liver complaints, and is also used in treating fevers, vomiting, diarrhoea, inflammation, pains and snake bite[
The root is used in Tibetan medicine, it is said to have an acrid taste and heating potency[
]. It is digestive, stomachic and vasodilator[
]. It is used in the treatment of indigestion and poor circulation due to thickening of the blood[
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[
The dried root is burnt as an incense[
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a warm greenhouse at 18°c[
]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on for at least their first winter in the greenhouse. Plant out in late spring after the last expected frosts.
Division as growth commences in the spring[
]. Dig up the clump and divide it with a sharp spade or knife, making sure that each division has a growing shoot. Larger clumps can be planted out direct into their permanent positions, but it is best to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in a greenhouse until they are established. Plant them out in the summer or late in the following spring.