Cautleya spicata, is endemic to the Himalayas and southwest China where it grows at elevations to 2800m. It is a hardy medium-height ginger with lush foliage and very attractive exotic-looking yellow flowers with deep-claret coloured bracts. As a ginger suited for the British Isles it has many advantages over its larger Hedychium or smaller Roscoea relatives. It is always reliably-flowering, and it blooms regularly unlike many Hedychiums that need a longer growing season and longer daylengths. Cautleya spicata also blooms early and its stunningly beautiful yellow flowers appear often as early as June but more typically from July onwards at a time when Hedychiums are still only putting on their foliage. And it is as hardy as the Roscoeas but its foliage is much larger and more dramatic and exotic-looking, growing taller. In stature and foliage it resembles a smallish Hedychium being less robust but considerably larger and more impressive than the Roscoeas. Because of this winning combination of hardiness, reliable flowering habit and lush jungle-like foliage it is - in my opinion - the perfect Ginger for the UK and if you are just starting out with Gingers it is a very solid choice being both very rewarding and extremely undemanding.
Cautleyas have relatively small root-crown rhizomes to which are attached their long tendril-like roots. It is often a sense of great amazement that such a large plant can emerge from such a small root-crown.
In the humid Himalayan forests where they grow, Cautleya are sometimes found growing epiphytically in the crooks of branches and the trunks of trees.
|Synonyms||Cautleya robusta, Roscoea spicata|
|Geographical Origin||Himalayan region: Northern India, Nepal, Sikkim, Bhutan, Tibet and in the Chinese provinces of Guizhou, Sichuan and Yunnan|
|Cultivation||In the UK it prefers full sun but will tolerate a little dappled shade. Deep humus-rich soil that is also well drained. Sand added both to the substrate and nestling directly around the roots is recommended|
|Hardiness||Hardy in the UK. A thick winter mulch is sensible gardening|
THIS OFFER IS VALID ON ALL OUR STORE ITEMS.