Botanical name: Hedychium coronarium Family: Zingiberaceae (Ginger family)
Butterfly ginger lily is beautiful and fragrant flower native to East India. It is a robust, attractive plant that will reach 6 feet in containers. Leaves are lance-shaped and sharp-pointed, 8-24 in long and 2-5 in wide and arranged in 2 neat ranks that run the length of the stem. From midsummer through autumn the stalks are topped with 6-12 in long clusters of wonderfully fragrant white flowers that look like butterflies. The flowers eventually give way to showy seed pods chock full of bright red seeds. Butterfly ginger lily (takhellei) is used in Manipur to make a floral ornament known as nachom, together with Mimosa Bush flowers (chingonglei). Two or three flowers of the chingonglei are inserted inside the lily and the combination of the two flowers is regarded as divine. This ornamental flower combination is usually worn behind the ear by womenfolk. The plants are very robust and quickly grow out of the containers. They need to be divided yearly. Remove old stems after flowers have faded to promote new growth.
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