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Plant of the month March 2018

Common Name: Blue Ginger

Scientific Name: Dichorisandra thyrsiflora 

Family: Commelinaceae




Dichorisandra – refers to the way two stamens stand apart in some species.


thyrsiflora – from the Greek thyrsus (wand) referring to the arrangement of flowers.


Atlantic coast eastern Brazil.

Native Habitat



Multi-stemmed clump forming perennial to 2.5 m tall, growing from rhizomatous rootstock. Glossy dark green
leaves 30 cm long, spirally arranged along the upright, fleshy cane-like stems.

Flowers and Fruit

Flowers: Terminal clusters (thyrses) of striking purple-blue flowers occur in late summer and autumn. Individual flowers have 6 stamens, four fused and two separate.
Fruit: A reddish capsule with black seeds..

Location in Garden

Various including; Tropical Garden, Foundation and Friends Cottage, Begonia Garden.


Few flowers in this Garden have the same vivid intensity of colour when growing in shady locations as the blue ginger.
If planted in soil enriched with compost and watered well when young it is the perfect plant for dry shade under mature trees. Dichorisandra pollen is shed from terminal pores in the anthers (male floral parts) of flowers. Researchers have concluded that the release of this pollen is stimulated by “buzz” pollinator.s These are pollinators, usually bees that vibrate or agitate the flower and stimulate the release of pollen. The Blue Banded Bee (Amegilla cingulata) is an Australian “buzz” pollinator. It is a solitary bee that doesn’t make hives but lays its larvae in small holes in the ground or sometimes in the grout between bricks. Often seen visiting our Blue Gingers and other blue flowered plants in the garden, the Blue Banded Bee is the hero insect of our Pollination exhibition at the Calyx. Open 10-4pm daily.
Blue Ginger plants can be purchased from our volunteer run Growing Friends plant nursery, open 11-2pm Monday to
Friday, 10-2pm Saturday.

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