How to fight yel­low gin­ger

NZ Lifestyle Block - - CONTENTS -

THIS EX­OTIC, gin­ger-scented peren­nial grows to 2.5m tall, with mas­sive, taro-like rhi­zomes close to the sur­face that are long, shal­low-rooted, much-branched, and grow over each other to form deep beds. It has shiny leaves (50x10cm), and cream coloured flow­ers over­lap­ping in cone-like clus­ters (15x10cm) from May to June. It is some­times mis­taken for a canna lily.

Yel­low gin­ger is ex­tremely shade-tol­er­ant, and tol­er­ates most con­di­tions. It lives a long time, is fast grow­ing and forms deep rhi­zome beds that pre­vent other plants es­tab­lish­ing. No seed is pro­duced in New Zealand but rhi­zomes spread out­wards slowly, and frag­ments form new plants.

These dense rhi­zome beds form mas­sive ‘mead­ows’, re­plac­ing all other species, and are shal­low-rooted, so when they be­come heavy with rain they can cause slips on steep sites and stream­banks. It grows al­most ev­ery­where, even un­der canopy in cool forests, but is frost-ten­der.

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