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PlantFiles: Siam Tulip
Curcuma alismatifolia

Family: Zingiberaceae
Genus: Curcuma (KER-koo-muh) (Info)
Species: alismatifolia (uh-lis-mat-ih-FOH-lee-uh) (Info)

One vendor has this plant for sale.

21 members have or want this plant for trade.

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Tropicals and Tender Perennials

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

3-6 in. (7-15 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)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade


Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer


Other details:
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)

Patent Information:

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

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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12 positives
2 neutrals
2 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Negative LeslieT On Mar 24, 2015, LeslieT from Bellaire, TX wrote:

I found the plant awkward looking in a mixed border in my Houston-area garden. It received adequate sun, but wasn't at all attractive. I pitched it.

Positive Jmichaelishere On Aug 11, 2013, Jmichaelishere from Plano, TX wrote:

I was planting a rose garden, and out of this older pot came this green plant. I watered it modestly, liked the design on the leaf, and then the center starting maturing. I could not remember how I got the tulip, however, it's my thought that it came with another plant, with the tulip in the center. Lack of care seemingly caused the Siam Tulip to die; but, that was not the case. It had only gone into its winter hibernation, and now I am enjoying it again in Dallas, TX.

Yes, they grow beautifully in Dallas with moderate sun.

All of a sudden they started springing up in another pot where I had put some of the dormant root, not knowing that they are the Siam Tulip, and I have 6 or 8 growing in that one pot. I am going to go to Home Depot to get separate pots for each of them. It could be a nice project, and I will try one in the new rose garden to see if it can tolerate that much light.

Tis an attractive leaf plant, with a beautiful surprise.


Neutral cynponce1 On Aug 2, 2013, cynponce1 from Houston, TX wrote:

I would like to know if anyone has had problems with curling leaves of the Siam Tulip? I just planted it in a filtered sun spot in a well-draining soil. However a few of the leaves are curling. Any ideas?

Positive pussy_willow On Jun 2, 2013, pussy_willow from Devola, OH wrote:

Just planted this in the small area between my house & the walkway to my front door (approx 9" wide x 3.5' space) where they get morning to early afternoon (about 12:30 p.m.) direct sun, zone 7-8 (Jackson, Mississippi, avg temp now is at 88F) and they are white, long lasting flowers with the smaller purple florets in the stalks. They go WONDERFULLY with Platycodon (single lavender Balloon Flower). I had been looking for a perennial to alternate between my balloon flowers and this one is IT! I was surprised to find it at Home Depot, I usually only find very ordinary plants there and at the other chain-store garden centers, but every once in a while, I find a gem like this. They had them in purple, too but I have more than enough of that in my garden!! One of my new favorites, I will be planting tehse in all colors next year. I haven't over-wintered them but all the bulbs that I am supposed to store away in the winter do just fine with some cypress mulch or pine straw mounded heavily over them. It CAN freeze here, but I haven't had any problems just covering the soil instead of digging them up. Could be because it is against an insulated exterior stucco wall too.

Positive CapnDub On May 20, 2012, CapnDub from Spartanburg, SC wrote:

I did exactly the same thing as Igerard: packed them in peat in a sealed plastic box under the house. Started with two plants; yielded about 40 bulbs. Planted them in ground in mid-April; too early. Two of them have appeared just this morning. Method seems to work pretty well, but I should have waited for the soil to warm more.

I live in Zone 7A on the new USDA map.

Positive lgerard On Mar 26, 2012, lgerard from Chapin, SC wrote:

This plant has gorgeous fuchsia "flowers." It went crazy in almost full sun by our front door and got lots of attention. We're in zone 7, so I dug them up and stored them in a box of peat under our house for the winter. No luck getting them to sprout so far this year (in pots) but will try a few others in the ground.

Negative degger On Oct 3, 2011, degger from Huntington Beach, CA wrote:

A lot of large foliage but only one anemic flower after two years.

Positive mswestover On Oct 21, 2009, mswestover from Yulee, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

I bought a couple of plants at Walmart in 07. I planted them next to an oak tree. Water them when I am in that area of the yard. Blooms Aug/Sept. Cover it with pine straw for the winter. Has come back so far in zone 9a.

Positive Ivyq On Sep 12, 2006, Ivyq from Lapine, AL wrote:

We bought 2 different varities of this Ginger a couple of years ago.I planted in well draining and partical sun area.I mulched heavyly w/pinestraw for winter.They have done very well and bloomed each summer.We live in LaPine Al. 30 miles south of Montgomery.But pinecone ginger is a problem.They produce smaller plants each year.This year I have moved to a different part of the yard.Still stunted growth.
We have several varties that are thriving.
Ivy Q

Positive fishpot On Aug 5, 2006, fishpot from Saint Petersburg, FL wrote:

Easiest plant ever and gorgeous, lotus like flower which is long lasting (1 month).
I gave it a try in a large patio pot . Mine is not in full sun and is in salt air here on the beach. It's got new flowers and is multiplying, doing very well.

Positive tremax On Sep 16, 2005, tremax from Delray Beach, FL (Zone 10a) wrote:

This plant appeared mysteriously in our garden a few months ago. When the leaves first came up I almost pulled them out. In a matter of two months or so it has flowered beautifully. Until today I wasn't able to identify it. Thanks guys and gals. Now I know how to take care of it and what to expect.

Positive morganmom On Sep 5, 2005, morganmom from Fort Myers, FL (Zone 10b) wrote:

Siam Tulip is thriving in full August sun & heavy summer rains in southwest Florida.

Neutral zzazzq On Apr 16, 2005, zzazzq from Madison, MS wrote:

This plant grows well in our hot, humid summers in MS. However, it is not hardy to zone8 in my experience, despite what other sources say. I had initially ordered 12 of them, and they all did wonderfully, but did not survive the winter, which was not a particularly cold one for us. Our winters, however, are quite wet, and maybe that is the problem.

Positive agedog1 On Feb 11, 2005, agedog1 from Vero Beach, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

Wonderful plant. Flowered for me from July through October 2004 (bought and planted in Garden in July). Dormant now. These guys can take over! I went from 3 to 9 in a matter or just a few months.

Positive bamacracker On Aug 3, 2004, bamacracker from Lynn Haven, FL wrote:

We bought this house in December, oblivious to all the wonderful landscaping that had been neglected for the past four years. When the curcuma sprang up in July, we did not know what to expect. When the gorgeous pink blooms opened, we were excited to see such beauty. Because the previous homeowners never used the sprinkler system, and never mowed the grass, I have to assume these plants are very hardy in NW Florida.

Positive BuriedTreasures On Feb 5, 2003, BuriedTreasures from Valrico, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

Regarding the watering of Curcuma, they need to be kept dry during their dormancy period, which will be Oct/Nov depending on where you live. If they're over watered during this time, they tend to rot.


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

Auburn, Alabama
Lapine, Alabama
Opelika, Alabama
Tucson, Arizona
Albany, California
Anderson, California
Antioch, California
Huntington Beach, California
Kennedy, California
Modesto, California
Salinas, California
San Bernardino, California
Bartow, Florida
Boca Raton, Florida
Delray Beach, Florida
Fernandina Beach, Florida
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Fort Myers, Florida
Gainesville, Florida
Jacksonville, Florida
Lady Lake, Florida
Lakeland, Florida
Lynn Haven, Florida
Melbourne, Florida
Miami, Florida (3 reports)
North Port, Florida
Oldsmar, Florida (2 reports)
Orlando, Florida
Pensacola, Florida
Pompano Beach, Florida (2 reports)
Port Charlotte, Florida
Port Orange, Florida
Saint Cloud, Florida
Saint Petersburg, Florida
Venice, Florida
Vero Beach, Florida
Yulee, Florida
Zephyrhills, Florida
Atlanta, Georgia
Douglasville, Georgia
Newnan, Georgia
Stone Mountain, Georgia
Thomasville, Georgia
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Lafayette, Louisiana
Slidell, Louisiana
Jackson, Mississippi
Madison, Mississippi
Bluffton, South Carolina
Spartanburg, South Carolina
Summerville, South Carolina
Arlington, Texas
Austin, Texas (3 reports)
Bellaire, Texas
Houston, Texas (2 reports)
Plano, Texas
Smithfield, Virginia
Shoreline, Washington

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