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Photo Credit: Forest & Kim Starr

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Photo Credit: Forest & Kim Starr

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QUICK FACTS

  • HPRWA SCORE 16
  • FAMILY Zingiberaceae
  • CATEGORY Shrubs, Vines, & Others

Himalayan ginger, kahili ginger (Hedychium gardnerianum)

An ornamental ginger that quickly escaped the garden and naturalized in Hawai'i's natural areas. The Division of Forestry and Wildlife of the Hawai'i Department of Land and Natural Resources has designated this species as one of Hawai'i's Most Invasive Horticultural Plants.

  • A coarse ginger with leafy shoots growing up to 6 ft tall
  • Leaves (7-17 in long by 4-6 in wide) clasping the tall shoots in an alternate pattern
  • Yellow flowers with long red centers grow in spiked cylindrical clusters
  • Naturalized on most of the main Hawaiian islands, native to the Himalayas
  • Seeds spread by birds, root fragments will also regrow

Harm

  • Spreads rapidly and becomes dominant over large areas of natural areas
  • Underground rhizomes form dense mats preventing other plants to grow in the area
  • Can block streams and overwhelm crops as it has done in other areas

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