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PlantFiles: Roscoea
Roscoea auriculata

Family: Zingiberaceae
Genus: Roscoea (ross-KOH-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: auriculata (aw-rik-yoo-LAY-tuh) (Info)

2 vendors have this plant for sale.

6 members have or want this plant for trade.

Alpines and Rock Gardens

6-12 in. (15-30 cm)
12-18 in. (30-45 cm)
18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

9-12 in. (22-30 cm)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
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)

Sun Exposure:
Light Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Late Summer/Early Fall
Mid Fall


Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)
From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse
From seed; sow indoors before last frost

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds
Seed does not store well; sow as soon as possible

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2 positives
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Moki137 On Jul 28, 2009, Moki137 from Oregon City, OR wrote:

Roscoea auriculata is a reliable performer in my lightly shaded woodland garden. Every year the clump gets bigger and has more flowering stalks. Each stalk produces numerous purple flowers and, although each bloom only lasts a few days, the entire blooming period lasts several weeks during mid-summer. I look forward to seeing it come back year after year.

Neutral wendyelsey On Jul 28, 2008, wendyelsey from Portland, OR (Zone 7b) wrote:

I was not very happy with its bloom time.. 4-5 days> owch! I loved the pics on here and it was only a dollar at a nursery, but I would not buy it again. 5 day bloom time is kinda crazy ;)
It was its first year with its roots planted in the ground, but still..
I just hope it does better next year :)

Positive wallaby1 On Nov 25, 2005, wallaby1 from Lincoln
United Kingdom (Zone 8a) wrote:

Originally I bought seed to grow this plant, but as often happens it is not fresh and did not germinate. I bought a plant which duly flowered, and made lots of seed. Should be planted 6" deep as is said to be marginally hardy, but is a good idea to start off in a deep pot. They will bulk up quickly, mine 5+ years from planting had over 20 stems. The tubers are yellowish and have fleshy legs radiating from a growth point.
Flowers emerge in succession from the top of the stem which resembles a bamboo, start off a deep, rich purple with white hood and fade as they get older. The plants will not show themselves until well into summer, late June to early July, but quickly grow to make a showy clump around 16" tall, and flower for many weeks. Mine do well in part shade, free draining moist acidic soil. They will self seed around the plant, but take 4 to 5 years to flower and mature, some may need to be lifted and grown on for space.

The seed I sowed fresh in the autumn, placed in a good gritty soil/ leafy compost mix outside, germinating the following spring. Pricked out to a larger tray when still quite small late summer and placed in a cold greenhouse for 1st winter. Grown outside from thence, three years later (4 from sowing) repotted with more space in large tray once foliage dies in early Novembver, some flowering in 4th year from sowing, all in 5th year. Ready 5 years from sowing once flowered to place each in a deep pot when dormant, and in the ground the following year. zone 8a UK

Neutral Baa On Aug 4, 2002, Baa wrote:

A tuberous perennial from India and Nepal.

Has lance shaped, deep green, glossy, stem sheathed leaves. Bears purple, hooded flowers with a large lip.

Flowers August-September/October

Loves humus rich, moist but well drained soil in parial shade. It needs to be kept in a cool spot and doesn't tolerate heat well. It won't tolerate winter temperatures of less than 5F either (winter mulch is a good idea even in moderate winters) so it's a touch on the fussy side.

A superb, showy, woodland plant for cool summer and moderate winter climates.

Its tubers should be planted 6 inches deep in late winter/early spring. They can also be lifted and divided at this time.


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

Elburn, Illinois
Oregon City, Oregon
Portland, Oregon
Shoreline, Washington

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