Thrusting upward from fleshy roots late in the spring, Roscoea’s green stems are sheathed by alternate glossy foliage, while its large lobed flowers possess an otherwordly appeal. An exotic-looking genus that counts Ginger among its kin, these Tibetan and Nepalese natives appreciate a deep planting and a thick layer of mulch for winter protection.
Its grass green leaves are long and lance-shaped. Held on short terminal spikes, the brilliant purple flowers resemble orchids, and display white to pale violet markings on each petal. To create intrigue, plant on the edge of the woodland garden with Heuchera, Tiarellas, and Tricyrtis.
Size: 16" high x 16" wide.
Hardy to zone 6.
Presumed to be a hybrid between Roscoea auriculata and Roscoea cautleyoides, this AGM-winning Ginger relation is named for the English plant nursery Bees Ltd., though its exact origin remains unknown. Springing from hardy tuberous roots, thick upright clumping stems are tightly sheathed in shiny wavy-edged green leaves beneath the wondrous orchid-style cream-colored blooms, that are distinguished by deeply divided labellum plus varying degrees of purple streaks and mottling. Adequately moist, well-drained recesses with dappled light, a thick winter mulch and protection from scorching sun ensure Roscoea x beesiana’s vigor and flowers aplenty.
Size: 12" – 18" high x 12" – 18" wide.
Once described by British garden author, William Robinson as possessing “...a beauty quite apart”, this rare Chinese woodland perennial lives up to its reputation as its large, openly hooded ghostlike blooms hover just above tall, lush-looking narrow leaves. Bathed in pale moonlit yellows, the exquisitely strange, yet elegant flowers impart a cool luminosity to a drift of Disporum ‘Night Heron’.
Size: 18" high x 12" wide.
Hardy to zone 6.
Paying homage to Ginger aficionado William Roscoe, who founded the first Liverpool Botanical Garden in 1803, this Himalayan denizen bears splendid, large orchid-like vibrant purple blooms atop folded green foliage that resembles petite sweet corn leaves. Tuberous, quick-to-clump roots sustain the sturdy, low mounding stalks plus long-blooming hooded flowers. An exotic hardy member of the Ginger family, Roscoea purpurea detests hot humid weather, looks most showy when planted in swaths and lends prismatic floral delicacy to the rockery or a cool moist woodland milieu.
Blooms July–mid September
Size: 12" high x 12" wide.
Hardy to zone 5.