The White ginger lily (Hedychium coronarium) is originally from the Himalayas region of Nepal and India where it 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.
In Brazil it is very common and considered to be an invasive weed. It was introduced in the era of slavery, brought to the country by African slaves who used its leaves as mattresses. It is also considered an invasive species in Hawaii.
In Cuba it is the National Flower, known as "Mariposa blanca" literally "White Moth Flower", due to its similarity with a flying white moth. This particular species is incredibly fragrant and women used to adorn themselves with these 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. It is said that a guajiro's (farmer's) house is not complete without a white ginger in its garden. Today the plant has gone 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, but the plant is not endemic of Cuba.
Its fragrance can be extracted by "enfleurage".
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