Explore Plants

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 

Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - December 10, 2009

From: Summerdale, AL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Non-Natives, Plant Identification
Title: Bulb identification
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

My pinecone ginger (Zingiber zerumbet), my white ginger (Hedychium coronarium) and my cana lilly roots were all accidently put in the same box and now I can't tell which is which. Is there some sort of "guide to roots"?

ANSWER:

The expertise and focus of the Wildflower Center are with plants native to North America.  Of the three plants you name, Zingiber zerumbet (pinecone ginger) is native to southeast Asia and Hedychium coronarium (white ginger) is native to India.  There are two cannas that are native to North America, Canna flaccida (bandanna of the Everglades) and Canna glauca (maraca amarilla); but I would guess you probably have Canna indica (Indian shot), native to tropical Central and South America or Canna x generalis (canna lily), a hybrid of C. indica and C. flaccida.   Generally, we aren't able to help much with non-native plant questions, but perhaps we can offer some sources that can help you.  You might try the International Bulb Society's Bulb Identification Clinic.  You can take photos of your different bulbs and submit your photos and ask the experts there to identify which is which—or you can see photos of the bulbs of the pinecone ginger and white ginger at Buried Treasures.  Click on "more details" by the plant's photo to find the photo of the bulb. If you figure out those two, then by process of elimination the other bulbs should be your canna bulbs.  You can also Google "canna bulbs" and select "Images" and you will find that several photos appear.

 

 

 

More Plant Identification Questions

Identification of a white beebalm
October 03, 2009 - I have a photo of what looks like Bee Balm but it is white in color. What is the name of this wildflower?
view the full question and answer

Plant identification for West Virginia
May 01, 2011 - Looking for the name of a wild flower in West Virginia, small golden colored petals..resembles a daisy.
view the full question and answer

Identity of plant in Kentucky with fuzzy grayish-green leaves
September 03, 2012 - I would like to know about a plant that I do not know what it is. I had this plant just come up in my flowerbed, that looked like a tobacco plant but the leaves looked like a lambs ear plant. It was ...
view the full question and answer

Possible cinnamon-scented plants in Mississippi delta
July 11, 2005 - I used to live in Mississippi and now live in Illinois. I am trying to find what plant or tree has a strong cinnamon-like scent that fills the air. I noticed this scent driving through the delta in Mi...
view the full question and answer

What is the name of a green plantin Ohio with white flowers that kind of look like broccoli?
March 13, 2009 - Last summer I saw a plant that had very full, very light green almost white flowers that kind of looked like broccoli. Do you know the name of this plant?
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.