Hedychium coronarium

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"White ginger" redirects here. For the asian spice, see galangal.
Hedychium coronarium
Hedychium coronarium1.jpg
Hedychium coronarium
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
(unranked): Commelinids
Order: Zingiberales
Family: Zingiberaceae
Genus: Hedychium
Species: H. coronarium
Binomial name
Hedychium coronarium
J. Koenig

The white ginger lily (Hedychium coronarium) is a perennial flowering plant originally from the Himalayas region of Nepal and India. It was introduced in Brazil in the era of slavery, brought to the country by African slaves who used its leaves as mattresses, and is now so common that it is considered an invasive weed. It is also considered an invasive species in Hawaii.

The white ginger lily is known as dolan champa दोलन चम्पा in Hindi, দোলনচাঁপা in Bengali, takhellei angouba in Manipuri, Sontakka in Marathi, suruli sugandhi in Kannada and Kalyana sauganthikam in Malayalam.

H. coronarium growing in Sierra Escambray, Cuba

H. coronarium is the National Flower of Cuba, where it is known as mariposa (literally "butterfly") due to its shape. Women used to adorn themselves with these fragrant flowers in Spanish colonial times; because of the intricate structure of the inflorescence, women hid and carried secret messages important to the independence cause under it.[1] The plant has become wild in the cool rainy mountains in Sierra del Rosario, Pinar del Rio Province in the west, Escambray Mountains in the center of the island, and in Sierra Maestra in the very west of it.

Its fragrance can be extracted by enfleurage.

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.cubadiplomatica.cu/uganda/EN/LearnaboutCuba/Nativesymbols/NationalFlower.aspx