Most Hedychium J. Koenig (Zingiberaceae) species have showy and fragrant flowers, which are used in leis and perfumery. Hedychium species are easy to grow and are mostly free of major diseases and pests. The essential oils of some species have been found to have insecticidal, antibacterial, and antifungal activities (Gopanraj et al., 2005; Jadhav et al., 2007; Medeiros et al., 2003). Hedychium plants prefer moist, fertile soil and are considered to be shade plants but will thrive in full sun if provided adequate moisture, and many species will grow and bloom throughout USDA zone 7 (Adams, 1999). Hedychium plants are suitable for landscape use, but their height (up to 2 m or more) generally limits their use as potted plants. Furthermore, Hedychium plants are well known for the diversity of their flower colors, but their green foliage is mostly uniform and lacks variegation. Only three variegated cultivars, Dr. Moy, Tahitian Flame, and Vanilla Ice, are commercially available. These three cultivars are related in that ‘Tahitian Flame’, a selection of Terra Nova Nurseries, Inc. (Canby, OR), occurred as a natural branch mutation of ‘Dr. Moy’ (Korlipara, 2009), and ‘Vanilla Ice’ is a sport of ‘Dr. Moy’ selected by Messenbrink’s Nursery of Nashville, NC. Developing new dwarf compact cultivars with novel foliar characteristics is a major objective of the Hedychium breeding program at the USDA-ARS Thad Cochran Southern Horticultural Laboratory (TCSHL) in Poplarville, MS. Reported here is Hedychium muluense R.M. Smith ‘Ramata’, a compact, dwarf (≈71 cm) cultivar with variegated leaves (Fig. 1A). Both dwarfism and variegation are highly desired but rare traits in Hedychium. This is the first report of both of these traits in one Hedychium cultivar.
Sakhanokho, H. F., Witcher, A. L., Pounders, C. T., & Spiers, J. M. (2012). ‘Ramata’: A New Dwarf Variegated Hedychium (Ornamental Ginger) Cultivar, HortScience horts, 47(6), 803-805. Retrieved Jun 17, 2021, from https://journals.ashs.org/hortsci/view/journals/hortsci/47/6/article-p803.xml