Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Late Summer Fragrance

Just as I step off the backporch  I catch a whiff of a heavenly perfume.  Every summer I eagerly anticipate the blooming of the Butterfly Ginger, Hedychium coronarium.  This year, the first to bloom is the cultivar 'Sherry Baby' which is a golden peach in color and oh, so fragrant.

There is another Butterfly Ginger which blooms white blooms that are just as fragrant.  The White Butterfly Gingers at My Garden Path haven't even formed buds yet.  It is hoped they will be coming into bloom just a little later in the summer which will extend the time for enjoying their delicious scent. 

The blossoms are beautiful to look at and their fragrance travels quite far.  The leaves give off a distinctly gingery scent when bruised.  This is not a culinary ginger but is a close relative.  Usually, spent flowers are deadheaded right away in order to keep a neat appearance in the garden.  This year, however, the blooms will be left on the stand of ginger in anticipation of  collecting seeds.

Click on the link above to read more information about this plant.  It grows under the big live oak here at My Garden Path and borders the area of the garden that can become boggy.  Both 'Sherry Baby' and the White Butterfly Gingers seem to be very happy in the dappled shade. 


  1. I only grow the basic white Butterfly Ginger, which like yours, hasn't started budding yet. If other cultivars bloom earlier in the season I'll have to get some. That 'Sherry Baby' is beautiful!

  2. What sweet looking blooms Nana. I don't think I've ever seen them or smelled them. It is always nice to be greeted by lovely scents from our gardens.

    Enjoy ~ FlowerLady

  3. Beautiful! Wish I could smell that scent. Butterfly ginger is a plant on my "need" list. I planted a white one years ago, but it disappeared. I'm thinking an overzealous "helper" weeded it.

  4. The Sherry Baby bloom color is really pretty - almost like an orange creamsicle! I have a couple varieties of ginger, but none that have ever bloomed. I'll have to put Sherry on my "want" list. I have lots of shade under an oak tree and room for more plants!

  5. This butterfly ginger looks so pretty, and I can imagine the wonderful scent through the screen. A pretty plant with the nice scent is always something on my watch list for my garden...

  6. Soooo beautiful! I've only started my ginger and heliconia collection and I don't have any butterfly ginger. Yours is wonderful!!

  7. I didn't realize that butterfly ginger comes in such a pretty peach shade. I've seen the white variety and love it, but the peach is equally as beautiful. We're lucky to have tough plants that can take the heat and look so beautiful, and a delicious scent...what a bonus!

  8. Grower Jim - I'm really not sure about bloom times on these gingers in the past. That's one thing I love about blogging. Now I will have a record AND pictures to remind me. I do believe Sherry Baby has always preceded the regular White Butterflies but as to just how long before;I can't say.

    FlowerLady - I love fragrant plants. Most of mine bloom in spring, so having late summer fragrance in the garden is a welcome treat.

    Floridagirl - You should try some butterfly gingers again. I know what you mean about "overzealous helpers." My DH is notorious for weedeating my rainlilies, liriope, and anything else I may be using as a border plant. He once threw away a bromeliad because it wasn't firmly planted in the soil and was a "funny" color. Really. He's not getting out of weedeating though. I just give closer supervision.

    Janna - I like your description of Sherry Baby's color - creamsicle. Some gingers won't bloom unless they make it through the winter. Shell gingers and, I recently learned, Costus are that way. The Butterflies and Pinecone Gingers I have bloom every year, regardless.

    Ami - I love these gingers and I'm glad to have the pictures on my blog to remind me why this winter. In winter they die back and I just cut them down. They have been faithful for four years now to return and bloom. But I always lament the blank spot they leave in winter.

    Kimberly - I love gingers and have five kinds. But, heliconias have not done well for me. I don't know what I'm doing wrong but they never return after winter. Perhaps not enough sun? I love the ones you've shown on your blog and maybe I'll try again.

    Susan - Yes, it's amazing to me what plants can take this intense heat. Now, if I can just find that perfect plant that takes cold, heat, and has fragrant blooms....AND lush foliage :)

  9. Nana: Thanks for posting this! I've been wondering what the peach colored Hedychium is; now I know. Mine doesn't have a particularly strong scent, but it is lovely. My white butterfly ginger is almost finished flowering. It's one of my favorite garden perfumes and I wish it would flower year round.


Thank you for travelling down My Garden Path with me. I love hearing from you. Please leave a comment and share what is going on in your gardens.