Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Shell Ginger
Alpinia zerumbet

Family: Zingiberaceae
Genus: Alpinia (al-PIN-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: zerumbet (ZER-um-bet) (Info)

One vendor has this plant for sale.

29 members have or want this plant for trade.


6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Mid Spring

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Flowers are fragrant

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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Thumbnail #1 of Alpinia zerumbet by Monocromatico

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By sa_haiad
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There are a total of 22 photos.
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4 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive siege2055 On Jan 6, 2015, siege2055 from Stilwell, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

I have this in zone 7a, I left out a test plant this winter to see if it is hardy here. It won't bloom here since the stems get frozen back, but it has nice foliage. So far it has gotten down to 10F at night and I can see live Rhizome at the surface. It has only had less than an inch of leaves over it that have blown there. I went ahead and covered it with a foot of leaves today as it is supposed to be down to 5F tomorrow night. So far it looks like this is hardy here, I will update in spring.

Positive sunkissed On Jan 9, 2011, sunkissed from Winter Springs, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

I've had this perennial ginger growing along a fence in my FL garden in zone 9B for well over seven years. It has reached a height of six feet and will stay evergreen in warmer winters. It has survived temperatures below 26 the last two winters with only frost damage to tops of plants, and completely to the ground on outer edges of the bunch, but always come back from the ground in spring. The flowers are some of the first bloomers in my garden each spring and resemble little orchids, or a string of shells. I've never seen any quite like mine in garden centers, my father gave me these from some he had. I've seen a wider variegated leaved one with similar flowers, but none quite a beautiful as mine. I hardly water it and it is in a morning filtered sun light, but shaded during the hot hours of the day. Tolerates drought in shaded area very well once established.

Positive hedonic On Sep 25, 2008, hedonic from porto
Portugal wrote:

Porto - Portugal (zone 9b/10a)
Partial Shade - semiprotected with taller trees.
Exotic look

Positive leighgalv On Apr 17, 2008, leighgalv from Galveston, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

Plantings beside the spa are over 8 ft tall! Waited 3 growing seasons before I was awarded with blooms....beautiful, tall plants, great for screen and/or privacy fencing!

Neutral Floridian On Nov 19, 2001, Floridian from Lutz, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

A native of Southeast Asia this large and attractive perennial is grown for its glossy foliage and fragrant flower clusters. Once established this plant will tolerate some drought as long as it has good light and a moderately rich soil. It is one of the first gingers to bloom in the spring. The unopened flowers look like strands of threaded pink seashells. When they open, the seem to contain tiny orchids with yellow and orange markings. Being vigorous growers they need to be divided every 2 years. If grown outside in colder zones you will need to mulch them well when the foliage dies back in the fall. You can also lift the rhizomes and store them in vermiculite in a cool room until the danger of frost is over.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Mobile, Alabama
Camarillo, California
Newport Beach, California
Oakhurst, California
San Marcos, California
Bartow, Florida
Big Pine Key, Florida
Boca Raton, Florida
Bokeelia, Florida
Brooksville, Florida (2 reports)
Clearwater, Florida
Deerfield Beach, Florida
Fort Mc Coy, Florida
Hollywood, Florida
Jacksonville, Florida
Keystone Heights, Florida
Kissimmee, Florida
Lake Mary, Florida
Lutz, Florida
Maitland, Florida
Miami, Florida
Naples, Florida
Navarre, Florida
Ocoee, Florida
Orange Park, Florida
Pensacola, Florida
Port Charlotte, Florida
Port Orange, Florida
Port Saint Joe, Florida
Safety Harbor, Florida
Sarasota, Florida (2 reports)
Tampa, Florida (2 reports)
Trenton, Florida
West Palm Beach, Florida
Winter Park, Florida
Winter Springs, Florida
Hawaiian Paradise Park, Hawaii
Gonzales, Louisiana
Ocean Springs, Mississippi
Piscataway, New Jersey
Stilwell, Oklahoma
Vieques, Puerto Rico
Bluffton, South Carolina
Sumter, South Carolina
Belton, Texas
Galveston, Texas (2 reports)
Houston, Texas
Missouri City, Texas
Pleasanton, Texas
San Antonio, Texas
Victoria, Texas

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