Often referred to as “Hostas for the South” or “Peacock Gingers”, Kaempferias produce decorative, colorful leaves when grown in filtered to deep shade in regions of the U.S. from the Gulf Coast to Florida and west to California. Generally appearing before the foliage, iridescent, pink to purple flowers can be a pleasant surprise as plants waken from their long slumber. Beginning in June and continuing till frost, ornate leaves form decorative mats—perfect for planting where there are limited choices under the shade of mature trees.
Easy to grow as long as they are well drained in winter, Kaempferias make lovely groundcovers in small areas and thrive in extreme heat. They also contribute nicely to mixed containers for those of you who live in colder regions. One of the largest leaf forms, Sandy makes quite an impression in the shade garden as a stand-alone amid soft textured ferns or when several are planted to form a dense mat. Lilac colored, iridescent flowers appear first, followed by wide, frosted, light-green leaves that are brushed with darker green flecks.
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