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Roscoea (ross-COE-ee-uh)

Common name:  Hardy ginger

Light:  - Part sun to part shade

Soil:  Humus-rich, moist but well-drained

Moisture:  Average

Blooms:  Summer

Zones:  (5) 6 - 8

Roscoea x 'Beesiana Alba'

Roscoea purpurea

Roscoea Description and Cultural Information

Roscoea x 'Beesiana Alba'. 15 - 18". Narrow, upright foliage is medium green and resembles young corn stalks. They emerge late in the spring and begin blooming in mid to late summer. The orchid-like flowers are pale yellow with occasional and highly variable purple streaks through the petals. This variety is a hybrid between R. auriculata and R. cautleoides.

Roscoea purpurea. 12 - 15". Violet-purple, orchid-like flowers arise on short scapes in mid to late summer above lance-shaped foliage resembling corn stalks.

How to Grow:  Roscoea grows from short tubers that should be planted in part sun to part shade in humus rich, moist but well drained soil. They like to be cool in the summer and protected in the winter so they are best planted deeply (4 - 6" below soil level) and mulched after planting. They will break dormancy late in the spring so you may want to mark their location to avoid accidentally digging them up when dormant. Although they are generally hardy to zone 5 they don't particulary thrive that cold so are best in zones 6 to 8.

Landscape uses:  Roscoea is an interesting plant with unique flowers, so plant it near the front of the border in a position where you will be able to appreciate them close up. Combine them with low growing summer perennials like Campanula carpatica or Platycodon 'Sentimental Blue' or with clumping foliage accents like Pulsatilla, Heuchera or dark leafed hardy Geranium.

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