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Wednesday, Oct 01, 2014
Lifestyle Stories

What’s Blooming in the Bette S. Walker Discovery Garden?

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Variegated shell ginger

Alpinia zerumbet ‘Variegata’

This perennial is fast growing and can reach a height of 6 to 12 feet and a spread of 3 to 5 feet. It prefers slightly acid to slightly alkaline soil pH, 6.0 to 7.2 ,and soil texture that is sandy/clay. Well-drained to medium-drained soil works best, and this plant performs best with irrigation.

Variegated shell ginger has low drought and medium salt tolerance. It performs best in full sun and does well in partial shade.

This plant sports green and yellow variegated leaves and produces white, fragrant flowers periodically throughout the year on drooping clusters. However, if it freezes back, it will not flower. Variegated shell ginger can be used as a specimen plant, border, in mass plantings and as an accent. This perennial can be grown indoors and many like to put the cut flowers in a vase. Propagation is from cuttings and division.

For information on this lovely landscape addition, please see the University of Florida publication “Alpinia zerumbet ‘Variegata’ Variegated Shellflower” by Edward F. Gilman at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/FP/FP03600.pdf.

We hope you will drop by our office to view the variegated shell ginger in the Conference Center courtyard.

Lynn Barber

The Bette S. Walker Discovery Garden is one of several demonstration gardens at the UF/IFAS Hillsborough County Extension Service, 5339 County Road 579, Seffner.

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