Dwarf gingers dance in the shade

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Globba winitii,red leaf form.

Rain, humidity and heat are just what gingers love, and one genus especially is adding a small but delightful presence in the garden. Globba is a dwarf ginger that comes from Thailand and has an unusual inflorescence. Globba winitii, usually called a dancing lady, develops a long pendant stalk of flowers that emerge from the terminus of the leaves. The stamen arches up over the rest of the small yellow flower structure. I have a maroon leaf form that produces striking mauve bracts.

Recently, I planted Globba winitii ‘Blue Hawaii’ in the garden beneath the shade of a sapodilla. ‘Blue Hawaii’ was named best flowering plant in the recent Tropical Fern and Exotic Plant Society’s show at the Garden.

Globba winitii 'Blue Hawaii'.

Its bracts are light blue and its leaves green.

The plants go dormant in winter, and then reappear in early summer. I have no idea where the maroon plant came from. It just appeared a few years ago in the roots of a bird’s-nest Anthurium crispamarginata, where it must have found conditions that suit it. It is not as tall as the ‘Blue Hawaii,’ and examining it closely requires getting on my hands and knees. At Fairchild, Globba species are in plot 27, which is near the huge Ceiba speciosa or floss silk tree by the Gate House.