Kahili ginger

Hedychium gardnerianum

Kahili ginger

Kahili ginger

Legal Status: Unwanted Organism - DOC
Status in New Zealand: Established
Organism: Land plants

This pest is in New Zealand.


Kahili ginger is a non-woody perennial growing to 2 m tall, which is also ginger-scented. Like yellow ginger, it has long shallow-rooted rhizomes which grow over each other close to the ground surface and form deep beds. Each rhizome segment produces an aerial stem and has shiny, slightly hanging, alternate leaves (20-45 x 10-15 cm). The flower heads (which are 25-45 cm tall with fragrant lemon-yellow flowers with conspicuous red stamens) are different from yellow ginger. These develop into fruiting spikes with fleshy orange fruits (15-20 mm long) which contain many bright scarlet seeds.


Kahili ginger is extremely shade-tolerant. It is long-lived and fast-growing and forms deep rhizome beds. It is spread by birds and also by human activity, such as dumping garden waste.

What to do

Contact your regional council to determine the status of this species and responsibility for control and/or advice on control.

Useful Resources

Page last updated: 22 April 2016