Roscoea auriculata bears lovely rich purple, orchid like blooms in spring.
And the “auriculata” part of the Latin name comes from the fact that each flower has a charming ivory eye in the centre. So they beam at you and draw all our eyes.
Rich purple orchid like blooms
Roscoea auriculata is an ideal, different, and eye-catching treasure to grow under trees & shrubs.
Because it enjoys conditions of Dappled Sun to Full Shade.
A treasure for dappled or part shade
Roscoea auriculata actually forms a dense perennial clump with a hardy tuber below ground, rather like a Dahlia.
So it tenacious and robust growing, despite the silken, orchid like, exotic looking blooms.
And though it has the common name of Sikkim Ginger, because the foliage and showy flowers resemble ginger, and it is a fully paid up member of the ginger family. It is actually not an edible.
Hardy in frost & clay
Roscoea auriculata is frost hardy, unlike many of the gingers.
And it also tolerates a wide range of soils, including clay.
But it prefers to have the tuber buried quite deeply, with the tip of the tuber at least 10cm below the soil surface.
Roscoea auriculata has a native habitat from northern India to western China.
Where it grows amongst pine woodlands, deciduous forests and grassy clearings.
It is definitely a hardy perennial treasure for partly shaded or dappled light positions.
40cm High in unusual flowers x 30cm Wide of upright, blade-like foliage clump.
SEED SOWING ADVICE: Patience – but worth it
First sow the seed in a punnet on the surface of good quality seed raising mix.
Then press gently to ensure the seeds have good contact with the mix.
Then barely cover seed.
Now thoroughly moisten by standing the punnet in a shallow water bath and allowing the moisture to percolate up to the surface of the mix from below.
Then cover the punnet with black plastic or cardboard, so it is kept dark, as these seeds germinate best in the dark.
Warmth is also important for best germination and temperatures of 18-23C are recommended.
So you can use a heat mat if you have one, to help maintain a steady warmth.
And maintain steady moisture by misting from a spray water bottle.
After 14 days of dark, moist warmth, now wrap punnet in cling wrap & place in the fridge (not freezer) for 6 weeks.
So this mimics the chilling effect of winter which breaks the seed’s natural dormancy.
After 6 weeks of chilling, then unwrap the punnet, remoisten thoroughly, and return to a warm place.
Temperatures of 18-22C are once again recommended for this stage.
However light is now needed for germination so cover the punnet with a clear plastic lid and continue to keep moist.
Seedlings will now emerge at various times, so do not discard punnet. Because it is a natural safety strategy for this plant to stagger the germination of it’s seed.
SEED COUNT: 10 large seeds per pack.
(We always aim to exceed the stated seed count and give a generous serve).
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