Hardy Yellow Ginger
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Hardy Yellow Ginger
P Native Photo: Tabish
Common name: Hardy Yellow Ginger, Hardy Shade Ginger
Botanical name: Cautleya gracilis var. robusta    Family: Zingiberaceae (Ginger family)
Synonyms: Cautleya cathcartii, Cautleya lutea var. robusta

Hardy Yellow Ginger is a small ginger with leafy shoots 35-48 cm tall; internodes 3.4-5.5 cm long; 5-6-leaved. Leaves are 15-22 cm long, stalkless; ligule 0.3−0.4 cm long, unilobed, red, sparsely velvet-hairy, tip pointed; blade oblong- lanceshaped, narrow, 15-22 x 2.0-3.5 cm, green and hairless on the upper surface, light green with purple tinge and sparsely velvet-hairy on the lower surface. Flowers are borne at branch-ends, in a dense, 8.5−20.0 cm long, protruding, 10−25-flowered spike, axis 6.5-18.5 cm long. Bracts are 10-25 per spike, arranged 0.5-1.3 cm apart, 1.6-1.7 x 0.3-0.4 cm. Flowers are 4.5-4.9 cm long, many flowers per spike open a day. Sepal-cup is 1.4-1.8 x about 0.3 cm, red, hairless, clefted on one side about 0.5 cm deep. Flower tube is 2.6-2.7 cm long, longer than the bract and sepal-cup; dorsal lobe about 2.2 x about 0.2 cm; lateral lobes aout 2.3 x about 0.4 cm. Lip about 2.5 x about 1.4 cm, bifid up to about 2.2 cm depth, lobes overlapping, tip wavy, blunt to pointed. Lateral staminodes are obovate with a lateral process of about 0.4 cm, about 1.8 x about 0.6 cm yellow, without a red streak. Stamen are 1.2-1.3 cm long; style 4.4-4.5 cm long. Fruit capsule is spherical, about 1.3 cm long, velvet-hairy. Hardy Yellow Ginger is found in Sikkim, Uttarakhand and West Bengal, Bhutan, China and Nepal. Flowering: May-August.

Identification credit: Ashutosh Sharma Photographed in Darjeeling.

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