Curcuma Species, Siam Tulip, Summer Tulip

Curcuma alismatifolia

Family: Zingiberaceae
Genus: Curcuma (KER-koo-muh) (Info)
Species: alismatifolia (uh-lis-mat-ih-FOH-lee-uh) (Info)
Synonym:Hitcheniopsis alismatifolia
View this plant in a garden


Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Water Requirements:

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

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade




Foliage Color:



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)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us



Bloom Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

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


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

Auburn, Alabama

Lapine, Alabama

Mobile, Alabama(2 reports)

Opelika, Alabama

Wetumpka, Alabama

Tucson, Arizona

Albany, California

Anderson, California

Antioch, California

Huntington Beach, California(2 reports)

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

Holiday, Florida

Jacksonville, Florida

Lady Lake, Florida

Lakeland, Florida

Lynn Haven, Florida

Melbourne, Florida(2 reports)

Miami, Florida(3 reports)

North Port, Florida

Oldsmar, Florida(2 reports)

Orlando, Florida

Palmetto, Florida

Panama City, Florida

Pensacola, Florida

Pompano Beach, Florida(2 reports)

Port Charlotte, Florida

Port Orange, Florida

Saint Cloud, Florida

Saint Petersburg, Florida

Umatilla, Florida

Venice, Florida

Vero Beach, Florida

Yulee, Florida

Zephyrhills, Florida(2 reports)

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

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

Spartanburg, South Carolina

Summerville, South Carolina

Chattanooga, Tennessee

Arlington, Texas

Austin, Texas(3 reports)

Bellaire, Texas

Fort Worth, Texas

Houston, Texas(2 reports)

Plano, Texas

Portland, Texas

Smithfield, Virginia

Shoreline, Washington

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Sep 9, 2019, jacquelineemery from Hilton Head, SC (Zone 9a) wrote:

I too bought my first Curcuma at Home Depot. It was listed as an annual, but our winters tend to be on the warmer side, so I thought, well maybe...
I did not see any blooms the following year, so wrote the plant off.
Today, 2 years later, it is blooming again.

Based on what I have read here I will now be trying it out in sunnier sites. I have white ones, and just bought a bright red one.


On Jul 17, 2017, biertrinker from Chattanooga, TN wrote:

I purchased a pot from Home Depot, which was kept in late afternoon sunlight on the patio (the tag said partial shade). Although pretty at first, the leaves burnt, and I forgot about the plant over the winter. The pot was completely neglected from September to March. We had a very mild winter, so I dug around in the pot out of curiosity and found healthy feeling bulbs. After reading endlessly contradictory advise for this plant, I planted them in shade, part shade, and full sun. To my surprise, every area I planted the bulbs has healthy plants, but those in full afternoon sun are performing the best and have large flowers in early July. Love this plant and hope it overwinters again.


On Jul 16, 2017, SkipVought from Fort Worth, TX wrote:

Benbrook, Texas. Planted September 2014. Western exposure partial sun, in a bed with drip irrigation and misters, run approx 20 minutes daily, early AM, April-October. My wife purchased this plant from Lowes.
Fertilized lightly each March with Black Kow manure.
June 2016 planted two white Siam Tulips.
Blooms from late May through October. Currently, have 14 purple blooms and 3 white blooms and 5 white blooms.
I would like to pland more. Would like to propagate, but reluctant to damage what I have.


On Jul 12, 2017, donnacreation from Sumter, SC (Zone 8a) wrote:

I bought these from Walmart garden center 7 or 8 yrs ago, and they didn't survive my zone 8a winter here in central South Carolina. To be fair, they were marketed as annuals. Still, I was disappointed.


On Jul 12, 2017, donnacreation from Sumter, SC wrote:

I bought these from Walmart garden center 7 or 8 yrs ago, and they didn't survive my zone 8a winter here in central South Carolina. To be fair, they were marketed as annuals. Still, I was disappointed.


On Jul 12, 2017, donnacreation from Sumter, SC wrote:

I bought these from Walmart garden center 7 or 8 yrs ago, and they didn't survive my zone 8a winter here in central South Carolina. To be fair, they were marketed as annuals. Still, I was disappointed.


On Jul 12, 2017, donnacreation from Sumter, SC wrote:

I bought these from Walmart garden center 7 or 8 yrs ago, and they didn't survive my zone 8a winter here in central South Carolina. To be fair, they were marketed as annuals. Still, I was disappointed.


On Jun 4, 2015, ladymar from Portland, TX wrote:

I Love this plant!! So easy to care for and great blooms. I planted mine in a bed under a live oak and have been rewarded with great blooms. I fertilize twice a year and the plant does the rest. I live in Portland, Texas.


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.


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 ... read more


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?


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 pla... read more


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.


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.


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

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


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


On Apr 16, 2005, zzazzq from Jackson, MS (Zone 8b) 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.


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.


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.


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.