Hedychium coronarium J.Koenig

  • Authority

    Britton, Nathaniel L. Flora Borinqueña.

  • Family


  • Scientific Name

    Hedychium coronarium J.Koenig

  • Description

    Species Description - Occasionally seen growing along rivers and other moist situations in Porto Rico, and frequently grown for ornament in flower gardens, this large, herbaceous plant, with clustered, pure white, fragrant flowers, is a native of southern Asia; it is commonly cultivated in West Indian gardens, and has become wild, spontaneous from seed, also in Jamaica, Cuba and the Lesser Antilles. Jasmin del rio, and Narciso are other Spanish names sometimes used; Butterfly Lily and Ginger Lily are other English appellations. Hedychium (Greek, sweet snow) has over 30 species, natives of southern Asia and the East Indies. The one here illustrated is the type of the genus, which was established, by the German botanist Koenig in 1783. They are tall, perennial, leafy-stemmed herbs, with mostly stalkless, long leaves, and large, terminal clusters of showy, bracted flowers. The tubular calyx is 2-toothed, the slender corolla-tube equalling it, or longer, its 2 lower lobes narrow, the upper one broad and like a lip; there are 3, petal-like, barren stamens (staminodes), which form conspicuous parts of the flower, and 1, perfect stamen with a slender filament and a narrow anther; the 3-celled ovary contains many ovules; the very- slender style is terminated by a globose stigma. The fruit is a 3-valved, many-seeded capsule, the seeds with a lacerated aril. Hedychium coronarium (like a garland) is from 1 to 2 meters high, with lance-shaped, long-tipped leaves from 25 to 50 centimeters long, and from 4 to 9 centimeters wide, smooth, or hairy on the under side, with a thin ligule about 3 centimeters long, or shorter. The dense flower-clusters are from 7 to 16 centimeters long, and from 4 to 7 centimeters in diameter, the individual flowers subtended by thick bracts from 3.5 to 5.5 centimeters long, which turn brown in age; the calyx is from 2.5 to 4 centimeters long, the corolla-tube 7.5 to 9 centimeters long, its narrow, reflexed lobes about 3 centimeters long; the oblong or lance-shaped, lateral staminodes are 3.5 to 5 centimeters long, the lip from 3.5 to nearly 5 centimeters broad, sometimes 2-lobed; the stamen is about as long as the lip, bearing an anther from 10 to 14 millimeters long. The capsule is oblong, smooth, its valves orange-yellow within, the many seeds with a crimson aril.

  • Discussion

    Jasmin cimarron Garland Flower Ginger Family Hedychium coronarium Koenig, in Retzins, Observations Botanicae 3: 73. 1783.