Roscoea alpine –

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Roscoea –

There are about 18 species of tuberous perennials related to ginger, in this genus. They occur from meadows, slopes, and partially forested areas in the Himalayas and China. They are grown for their, hooded, orchid or iris like flowers, which have prominent, smooth edged or 2 lobed lips. The flowers are surrounded by overlapping bracts, and are born in summer or autumn.   The lance shaped, arching leaves are stem-sheathing.   Roscoeas thrive in cool climates, grow in a woodland garden or damp, shady border.

Plant tubers 6″ deep in winter or early spring. Grow in moderately fertile, humus rich, leafy, moist but well drained soil, in a cool, sheltered site in partially shade. Where marginally hardy, apply a deep winter mulch. Divide in spring.

Prone to slugs and vine weevils.

R. alpina – This tuberous perennial from Northern India and Nepal grows 12″ tall. It produces 1-4 lance shaped, mid green leaves, up to 4″ long. In summer it bears condensed spikes of pink or mauve flowers, to 1″ across, hidden in the upper sheaths.

Zones 6-9