Kahili Ginger, Ker-Gawl

Hedychium gardnerianum

Family: Zingiberaceae
Genus: Hedychium (hed-EE-kee-um) (Info)
Species: gardnerianum (gard-nair-ee-AH-num) (Info)


Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Foliage Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Flowers are good for cutting

Flowers are fragrant

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Suitable for growing in containers


4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)


18-24 in. (45-60 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:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade



Bloom Color:

Gold (Yellow-Orange)

Pale Yellow

Bright Yellow

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Mid Fall



Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

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

Seed Collecting:

N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed


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

Lowndesboro, Alabama

Amesti, California

Orange, California

Rancho Mirage, California

Sacramento, California

San Diego, California

San Leandro, California

Santa Barbara, California

Upland, California

Winchester, California

Jacksonville, Florida

Keystone Heights, Florida

Honomu, Hawaii

Mokuleia, Hawaii

Youngsville, Louisiana

Bishopville, Maryland

Hattiesburg, Mississippi

Saint Joseph, Missouri

Raleigh, North Carolina

Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania

Baytown, Texas

Copperas Cove, Texas

Houston, Texas

Arlington, Virginia

Port Angeles, Washington

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Feb 23, 2016, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

The World Conservation Union IUCN has included this shrubby species on their list of 100 of the world's worst invasive species, an honor it shares with only 31 land plants.

It is native to the Himalayas of India, Nepal, and Bhutan. It has become a weed of concern in wild areas of New Zealand, Hawaii, and the Azores. Even where it is not a threat to natural areas, its weedy growth needs to be controlled in the garden. It spreads both by densely matted rhizomes and also by copious seeds spread by birds and mammals.

This is the most widely grown Hedychium species as an ornamental.... read more


On Mar 19, 2012, crewdog from Marcus Hook, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:

Believe it or not I have had success growing this ginger in SE PA. I live in the Philly metro area. The plants are along the south side foundation. For 6 years now I have left them to overwinter. By late spring they send up large leafy stocks and by late September as the weather turns colder they flower. I have read they are native to the foothills of the Himalayas. They are great as cut flowers and very fragrant.


On Aug 3, 2011, elbuey from Cartago,
Costa Rica wrote:

My Kahili Gingers produce seed. I have grown new plants from these seeds many times. Don't understand why it's listed as "no seeds".


On Nov 25, 2008, PedricksCorner from Freedom, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

This is a WONDERFUL container plant! No need to worry about it becoming invasive that way. The fragrance from the long lasting flowers is intoxicating. Hummingbirds love them!
The rizhomes can take a while to produce shoots, but once they do, they grow steadily. I'll add a couple of photos here to show you what great foliage they have also. They'd be great in a long deep planter box to make a short living screen.


On Nov 17, 2007, guntermann from Oregon City, OR wrote:

This plant has been identified on the ISSG Global List of Invasive Plants

Responsible gardeners may wish to consider their local conditions prior to introducing or trading this plant.

Hedychium gardnerianum (herb)
This showy ornamental ginger grows over a metre tall in wet climates and grows from sea level to an altitude of 1,700 metres. It displaces native plants, forms vast, dense colonies and chokes the understory vegetation. It may also block stream edges, altering water flow. It is dispersed by birds over short distances and by man over long distances (as garden waste or via the horticultural industry). Even small root fragments will resprout, making it a difficult invasive to control.
Common Na... read more


On Feb 16, 2007, ayubars from LONDON,
United Kingdom wrote:

Just baought a plant from Ebay. Im really excited


On May 9, 2004, foodiesleuth from Honomu, HI (Zone 11) wrote:

Kahili ginger grows almost as an invasive plant in some areas of this island. At the Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island, they are trying to eradicate it as much as possible as it takes over the areas where some native plants are growing.

I think they are beautiful and used to have some growing in the place where we were previously living. Very fragrant and beautiful!

The name kahili (kah -he -lee) is named for the old yellow feather standards carried by attendants of the old Hawaiian Ali'i (royalty) since it resembles them in shape.


On May 8, 2004, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

Native to India. Flowers are fragrant. Requires a lot of water.


On Aug 12, 2001, Baa wrote:

Tall perennial which produces rhizomes, long lance shaped leaves which can be glossy green or a greyish colour.

The flowers and scented and held in a dense cylinder manner, pale to bright yellow flowers have long red stamens which are very visible.

Frost tender but can be grown out side in zones 8 and above with a deep winter mulch.