Over in Stybing, I wandered into the courtyard next to the main offices. There was an instant attraction to these showy flowers, but I couldn’t find the ID tag for this guy. After poking around, I think it’s Kahili Ginger (Hedychium gardnerianum). Here’s the Good, Bad & Ugly.
The Good: Pale yellow inflorescence with gleaming red stamens. Yeah, the blooms are gorgeous. The common name was derived from its similarity to the Kahili feathery scepters used by Hawaiian nobility. I also found a hardier cultivar of this Himalayan native, Hedychium ‘Tara’. Floradora has a shot of it.
The Bad: Once you have it, its challenging to get rid of it. But hey, there’s a lot of stuff we love that falls in that category, right? I give you Equisetum, which we keep in containers so that it doesn’t escape into the rest of our garden.
The Ugly: Wiki says it’s on the 100 Worst Invaders List. Hum, I wasn’t buying it. Maybe secretly inside I didn’t want it to be true. Sure enough…it’s on the ISSG’s 100 Most Invasive Species List, #40. Right between the Mosquito Fish and the Indian Mongoose. Here in San Francisco, it doesn’t seem to be the evil plant as they describe. But it’s a huge pest in Hawaii and New Zealand. Apparently it grows like weeds along the roadside and other damp places.
– Far Out Flora