Often referred to as “Hostas for the South” or “Peacock Gingers”, Kaempferias produce decorative, colorful leaves when grown in filtered to deep shade in regions of the U.S. from the Gulf Coast to Florida and west to California. Generally appearing before the foliage, iridescent, pink to purple flowers can be a pleasant surprise as plants waken from their long slumber. Beginning in June and continuing till frost, ornate leaves form decorative mats—perfect for planting where there are limited choices under the shade of mature trees.
Easy to grow as long as they are well drained in winter, Kaempferias make lovely groundcovers in small areas and thrive in extreme heat. They also contribute nicely to mixed containers for those of you who live in colder regions. Introduced by John Banta, this peacock ginger has as much contrast in its markings as a Bengal cat. Silvery-green leaves are boldly patterned with striking marks of maroon and silver. As with all Kaempferia elegans, glistening purple flowers form among the foliage through summer.
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