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Cajun... Ask a neighbor / friend of hers what they remember about the plant. Color of bloom, how tall, etc. Also see if you have any family pictures taken in her yard that might show a bloom, even blurry might help.
Cajun - I agree with gothqueen - it does look like a bletilla striata. I live in zone 9b, and mines are coming up and blooming. So the timing is right. The most common colors are purple and white. If it is what we think it is, don't worry about taking care of it. They take care of themselves, and multiply like crazy in the ground.
Thanks, Guys! Unfortunately I don't believe it bloomed last year at all. Thinking we only added them a couple of years ago and they weren't very big. They've definitely multiplied but not bloomed yet. For sure when they bloom, I'll know better what they are.
Sheila, FYI - this mother moved in with us July 2005 and we have shared the garden/yard for years now. It's just she & I grew different things and I wasn't entirely familiar with her plants. I know she loved Gingers, but also Orchids so that's highly likely on the ID.
So far, so good on all the ID's I've requested ;-)
Judging by the expected bloom time, I should be able to post pics of the blooms and close this out for sure.
that's great, soils! those are beautiful in a bed, so i'll definitely be transplanting these.
anyone have any idea on the 2nd one? i should probably go in and clean out the dead stuff and take another picture. if i knew when it bloomed, or even what it was, i'm sure it will help with their care.
I think the second one is false cardamom ginger. Its an alpinia, I think A. elliteria (that is misspelled) and it is extremely hardy. It almost never blooms. I have had it for over 10 years and it has never bloomed. It takes down to the very low 20's before it burns or freezes back, and eventually (here anyway) becomes invasive