Family: Zingiberaceae

Origin: southwest China

Flower colour: yellow, red, pink, blue, purple

Flowering period: June – September

Average plant height: 8 – 12 inches

Planting depth to base of bulbs: 4 inches

Spacing between bulbs: 6 inches

Type of bulb: perennial

Light requirements: partial shade and heavy shade in warmer zones

Landscape uses: borders, rock gardens

Roscoea has orchid-like flowers. The plants are quite tidy in growth and have the appearance of a miniature fountain, the flowers being the cascade. Named in honour of William Roscoe (1753-1831), founder of the Liverpool Botanic Garden in 1802. The genus is brought into culture in the 19th or early 20th century. The hardiest species are gaining popularity, Roscoea purpurea, with lovely purple flowers.

Principal varieties

  • Roscoea auriculata ‘Beesiana’ – cream/purple stripes 
  • Roscoea scillifolia – pink