Hellenia Species, Crepe Ginger

Hellenia speciosus

Family: Costaceae
Genus: Hellenia
Species: speciosus (spee-see-OH-sus) (Info)
Synonym:Cheilocostus speciosus
Synonym:Costus speciosus


Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Water Requirements:

Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Sun Exposure:

Partial to Full Shade


Good Fall Color


Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)


6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)


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)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Pale Pink

White/Near White

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

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

From woody stem cuttings

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Anniston, Alabama

Santa Maria la Carità, Campania

Bradenton, Florida

Hollywood, Florida

Jensen Beach, Florida

Pompano Beach, Florida

Folkston, Georgia

Thibodaux, Louisiana

Germantown, Maryland

Stilwell, Oklahoma

Port Isabel, Texas

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Sep 18, 2015, siege2055 from Stilwell, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

I have this growing in a pot in the shade and it is starting to bloom, seems to be fairly drought tolerant as long as its in the shade, as I forget to water it sometimes, and it is still blooming,and never wilts. When I first got this through the mail, it died back, and I kept the rhizome in a pot, and watered occasionally. I periodically moved the soil and checked on it to make sure it was still alive, and it stayed dormant for 8 months! And it seems to naturally know when spring comes, and is not triggered into growth by water, etc. So dont throw yours away if it dies back when you first receive it. Easily propagated by stem cuttings, so if you dig this in the fall for storage, or let frost kill it back, dont waste your cuttings, instead cut the foliage off the bulb, and root in a glass,... read more


On Sep 16, 2012, artemizia08 from Rockledge, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

When I bought from big local nursery few years ago, it was in bloom. Never-ever bloomed again, don't know why ((( Although other gingers are blooming like crazy in our garden (East-Central Florida).


On Sep 14, 2012, fuzzytufts from Folkston, GA wrote:

I have had my plant for 2 years and finally figured out what makes it do best is keeping it moist in a mix that drains well and regular feedings( small feedings of l0.l0.l0) is what I used but a water based would work. Its blooms this year have been on it since the middle of June 20l2 and still going strong. Good for butterflies & bees. In my area of South Georgia bees are in short supply so anything that draws pollinators is a good thing. I placed my plant in the ground when I first got it but it apparently stayed too dry even though I watered regularly so last fall I placed it in a large pot and this spring when it came up it wasn't skinny. I wondered if anyone knows how to grow it from seeds or just best to do by cuttings. I think this plant is worth the growing just for the beaut... read more


On Apr 7, 2012, NYCtropics from New York, NY wrote:

I really like this ginger. Mine grew to 6 feet tall by the end of the summer and bloomed! II really was not expecting blooms here in NYC from a spiral ginger (especially in its first year), but I got some nice October blooms.
In Late Fall I cut it back, dug it out of the ground, and potted it up. It did NOTHING all winter. I thought it was dead. About a month ago I took it out of the pot to see what was going on with the roots and it looked like nothing was growing. I potted it back and hoped for the best. Now just a few days ago I see some growth emerging from the soil and it is now growing fast. Looks like I will have this plant again for another summer!


On Jul 10, 2011, Phoolan from San Luis Obispo, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

Here in the coastal Rio Grande Valley, this spiral ginger is a welcome accent plant in a part shade to full shade site. It can be a little floppy, so I have it under a small tree, against some backdrop shrubbery which helps when the wind kicks up.
It's so hot here in the summer, I mist it whenever I remember. It came back from the hard freeze we had last winter and has even spread a bit. Very graceful, very tropical.


On Aug 18, 2010, CostaRica from Guayabo de Bagaces, Guanacaste,
Costa Rica (Zone 10b) wrote:

Love this one...but agree it could be invasive, especially if planted in an wet area.