A hidden ginger from Tina in SC

A few years ago you helped me indentify a small lily in my yard and I’m hoping you can do the same for a family friend. She was given a plant that has grown amazingly in her yard and produces beautiful purple flowers but it’s a mystery what it actually is. The leaves are large, something like over grown peace lily leaves, but the flowers that bloom near the center of the plant are almost orchid like. I am including several pictures and am hoping you can help me again. I greatly appreciate your time.



I’ve been calling this Curcuma petiolata, the Hidden Ginger – I also grow this.  It is closely related to the spice turmeric, and is indeed a type of ginger, in the Zingiberaceae.  Not native, but from southern Asia.


Steve Hill, Botanist, SCNPS

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