Saturday, September 4, 2010

Zingiber mioga along the dry stream in China Valley is flowering now

 You have to get down on hands and knees to see the flowers which emerge sequentially from that curious tulip-shaped inflorescence that lies prostrate on the ground. The shoots and bud are used in Japanese cuisine; they have a spicy cilantroish aroma. Z. mioga  is extremely hardy considering that it's a member of a subtropical genus in a tropical family. It seems to handle zone 6b pretty regularly.

There are a few variegated forms. 'Dancing Crane', the one that I've known longest, is a lovely delicate plant that lacks the vigor of the species requiring excellent soil, regular moisture, and some shade. At least here in zone 7. 'White Feather' seems to be a monster, albeit a beautiful one, We planted a single stem a few months back in not so wonderful soil and it's produced 5 perfect new shoots since then; I expect it to be a valuable source of variegated texture in partial shade. We're already thinking about where to establish colonies.  Plant Delights Nursery lists it.

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