August is the month when all our fragrant gingers begin to bloom. Hedychium spicatum is already in bloom and H. coronarium and H. flavescens are showing ripening bracts that will flower very soon.
All three of these species are grown across the world for their delicious sweet fragrances. Fragrant oils are extracted from the flowers and are used in perfumes both in the East and in the west. There are notable examples from Dior, Joe Malone and Stash by SJP. The oils are also used in a variety of aromatherapy preparations as well as room fragrances.Perfume oil is also extracted from the rhizomes of H. spicatum.
Outside Kew’s collection gingers are pretty unusual in London public gardens. With all these blooms in progress why not visit the Gingerhouse during August and experience the greenhouse full of fragrance. You can also see and smell gingers in our Hot! border in the walled garden where H. ‘Tara’, H. densiflorum ‘Stephen’ and H. coccineum are also flowering.