The yellow ginger plant (Hedychium flavescens) once grew only in the Himalayas but it has spread around the world. The plant has proved to be quite invasive and has become a serious concern because it quickly forms large, dense vegetative growth that chokes out native plants, according to the Global Invasive Species Data Base. It has been widely grown in tropical locations around the world as an ornamental that has escaped cultivation.
A herbaceous perennial, the yellow ginger plant grows 6 feet in height with a root system that reaches over 3 feet deep. Large, tropical-appearing leaves are produced in a lance shape and look as if they have been coated in wax. In the late fall to early winter, yellow or cream-colored fragrant ovoid flowers are produced.
The yellow ginger plant does not produce seeds. It spreads solely through its large and aggressive rhizome root system. Flooding in the rainforest also helps spread the roots. It can quickly invade local areas. The rhizomes grow even when broken into numerous small pieces, which makes removal of the plant difficult if the entire root system is not lifted because it will quickly grow back from tiny fragments.
The yellow ginger plant prefers moist rain forest settings. If flourishes in the tropics. It will grow easily in full sunlight along roads or under the cover of the deep forest canopy. Currently the plant is viewed as a serious threat in Hawaii and New Zealand.
The yellow ginger quickly produces large colonies of plants that sprout annually off the root system. The plant quickly chokes out all native plants that pose a threat to its growth.
Control by burning the stalks and foliage. Complete removal of the root system must be attained or the plant quickly returns. Use herbicides in the spring and fall. Cutting the stalk of the yellow ginger plant prior to apply a herbicide helps the yellow ginger absorb the herbicide easier.