Hedychium gardnerianum (ZINGIBERACEAE) Kahili Ginger

Weeds to Whack

A showy garden ginger native to India, this pest forms dense colonies, choking understorey and creek banks. Spreads by bird-dispersed seed and root fragments. This species has been nominated as among 100 of the World’s Worst invaders by the Global Invasive Species Database. Occurs in wet habitats between sea level and 1700 m. Will readily grow in semi and full shade beneath canopy. It is beginning to appear throughout subtropical rainforest areas and is a weed on the ascendance — one that should be stopped at all costs. Small seedlings can be pulled out by hand. The rhizomes should also be removed. Removing the flower heads does not kill the plant but does slow down its spread.
PHOTO: Geoff Long