Cannaceae (canna lily) family
Also known as
Where is it originally from?
Central and South America
What does it look like?
Erect, leafy perennial herb (to 2 m tall) with thick underground stems (rhizomes) and sturdy, unbranched, green and hairless above-ground stems from which large, green (sometimes purple tinged), oblong leaves (up to 45 cm long x 15 cm wide) with prominent midribs grow. Pinkish-red to reddish-yellow and occasionally yellow or orange-red flowers (5-6 cm long) grow from the top of the stem, often in pairs, followed by round seed capsules (2 cm diameter) containing round black seeds.
Are there any similar species?
Hedychium gardnerianum (kahili ginger, wild ginger) and H. flavescens (yellow ginger)
Why is it weedy?
Forms tall, dense, long-lived stands that are tolerant of a range of conditions including salt, wind, grazing or other damage, and damp to moderately dry conditions.
How does it spread?
Seeds are spread by gravity and water, and pieces of underground stem (rhizome) also form new plants.
What damage does it do?
Replaces all other plants on the ground, preventing natural regeneration, often leading to the invasion of weedy vines. It can remove water from damp habitats.
Which habitats is it likely to invade?
Damp sites with high light in frost-free localities: wetlands, river margins, gullies, disturbed shrublands, forest margins, coastal areas.
What can I do to get rid of it?
1. Dig out scattered plants (all year round). Remove all roots and rhizomes and dispose of at a refuse transfer station.
2. Cut stems and paint: metsulfuron-methyl 600g/kg (1g) + glyphosate (50ml) + penetrant/1L water, or a 3-5mm layer of picloram gel. Mulch the leaves and dispose of seeds at a refuse transfer station.
3. Overall spray (spring-summer): metsulfuron-methyl 600g/kg (2g) + glyphosate (100ml) + penetrant/10L water.
What can I do to stop it coming back?
Fragments remaining in soil will resprout so followup control by digging or spraying is required. Plant the site with local native plants to shade out seedlings.