Dichorisandra thyrsiflora – Blue Ginger

Dichorisandra thyrsiflora - Blue Ginger, Blue-ginger

Dichorisandra thyrsiflora - Blue Ginger, Blue-ginger

Plant Name

Scientific Name: Dichorisandra thyrsiflora

Common Names: Blue Ginger, Blue-ginger

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial

Growth Habit: Herb/Forb

Hawaii Native Status: Cultivated, but it can appear to be growing wild. This ornamental garden plant is native to Brazil.

Flower Color: Sapphire blue to blue-purple

Height: To 6 feet (1.8 m) tall or more

Description: Although it looks very much like a blue-flowered ginger (Family Zingiberaceae), this attractive plant is actually a spiderwort (Family Commelinaceae). The terminal flower clusters are up to 8 inches (20 cm) long. The individual flowers are 1/2 inch (1.3 cm) across and have 3 petals, 3 sepals, bright yellow stamens, and a tricornered central white "eye". This species is andromonoecious, having both male flowers and bisexual flowers on the same plant. The fruit is an orange berry. The leaves are simple, lance-shaped, and have a spirally alternate leaf arrangement. The leaf sheaths wrap the stems. The fleshy, cane-line stems emerge from underground rhizomes.

This plant grows in moist, shady areas, and although it is not recorded as being naturalized here in Hawaii, it can appear to be growing wild along shady roadsides and in abandoned gardens.

Classification

Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Liliopsida – Monocotyledons
Subclass: Commelinidae
Order: Commelinales
Family: Commelinaceae – Spiderwort family
Genus: Dichorisandra J. C. Mikan
Species: Dichorisandra thyrsiflora J. C. Mikan – blue ginger