Roscoea humeana –

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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. humeana – This sturdy, tuberous perennial from China grows 6-10″ tall and 8″ wide. In early summer it produces a succession of up to 10 long tubed rich purple flowers, up to 1 ½” across, from the upper leaf axils. The 1 or 2, or rarely 3, oblong to ovate, rich green leaves, to 9″ long, are usually only partially developed at flowering time.

Zones 7-9