Scientific Name: Dichorisandra thyrsiflora
Common Names: Blue Ginger, Blue-ginger
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.
Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Liliopsida – Monocotyledons
Family: Commelinaceae – Spiderwort family
Genus: Dichorisandra J. C. Mikan
Species: Dichorisandra thyrsiflora J. C. Mikan – blue ginger