How to fight yellow ginger
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.