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Regional Picks: Bold Plants for Shade – South

Fine Gardening - Issue 168

1. Hidden Ginger

Name: Curcuma aurantiaca

USDA Hardiness Zones: 7 to 10

Size: 1 to 2 feet tall, clump

Conditions: Dappled or partial shade; consistently moist, well-drained soil

The blooms of this plant emerge before the leaves; once the leaves unfold, the flower is hidden, giving it the name hidden ginger. New varieties and crosses have improved blooms to stand above the leaves, making a big splash of color in the shade garden. Hidden ginger is easily grown by rhizomes, producing many large, beautiful flowers that last several months. If your ground freezes frequently in winter, grow it in a container, or lift rhizomes from the garden and overwinter them in a dry area. Hidden gingers go dormant in the winter, giving you something to look forward to in the spring.


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