Curcuma elata

Giant Plume Ginger

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Item #: 2004

Zones: 7b to 10b, at least

Dormancy: Winter, Spring

Height: 72" tall

Culture: Part Sun to Light Shade

Origin: Burma/Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam

Pot Size: 3.5" pot (24 fl. oz/0.7 L)

Curcuma elata stands out in our garden as one of the finest cold-climate garden specimens in the genus curcuma. This Indochina native has thrived for nearly three decades in our Zone 7b garden with no special care. The huge, bold-textured, canna-shaped green leaves compose the giant 6' tall clump. For us, this is the earliest curcuma to flower, mid-June in NC, when the 2' tall pine cone-like spikes sprout from the base of the plant. Each flower spike is topped with bright pink bracts which serve as a mini-umbrella for the yellow flowers that peak out from the side of the cone below.


Curcuma elata is a maintenance-free perennial for us, requiring absolutely no care in the garden.

Growing Conditions:

We have found Giant Plume Ginger to thrive in both light shade as well as in a few hours of sun. As long as the soil is reasonably well-drained, it can handle both slightly moist and slightly dry soils.

The clump will enlarge in time, so if you would like to spread yours around, or share with gardening friends, the underground rhizomes are easily divided anytime the ground isn't cold.

Natural Impacts:

Curcuma elata is a rich source of nectar for bees.