Hexastylis shuttleworthii: Arrowleaf Ginger

photo_kayla-pratt_hexastylis-shuttleworthii.jpg Latin name: Hexastylis shuttleworthii
Common name: Arrowleaf Ginger
Flowers: Purple, brown 10, bloom time Apr-Aug 10
Fruit: Capsule 10
Height & Width: 6-10” high, and 12-24” wide 4
Type: Perennial 19
Habit: Groundcover 19
Wetland indicator category**: FACU 17
(SC regions include (1) Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plains & (2)  Eastern Mountain Piedmont) 
Texture: Medium 10
Growth rate: Slow-medium 4
Light: Part sun-full shade 19
Moisture: Well drained 19
Soil*: Loam, sand 19, acidic 19
Zones: 3-7 4
Origin: Lower 48 US States 10
Ecosystem benefits: Attracts butterflies and is deer resistant 19, the foliage hosts the larvae of the pipevine swallowtail butterfly 19
Features: This plant attracts butterflies and provides a habitat for pipevine swallowtail larvae19. It is also deer resistant 19.

Siting: This plant is good for a groundcover as it will spread overtime 4.

Care: Plant crown at soil level 18. At planting, water the roots and surrounding area slowly and deeply. Keep soil moist until plant is established, then apply enough water to thoroughly moisten the root zone when the soil is dry or during drought. Modify water recommendations to reflect site drainage and rainfall. Apply 3” of mulch over the planted area. Do not allow mulch to touch the plant stems 18.

Pests: This plant is prone to slug and snail damage 4.

This plant does not appear on the following invasive plant lists on 03/03/2022:
USDA SC Invasive Plant Species
SC Exotic Plant Pest Council

Author: Kayla Pratt

Image source: https://www.clemson.edu/extension/carolinayards/plant-database/index.html#cypdb/browsebyphoto/details/52ee9eaa740e8cad593e51c9/


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  4. Clemson Cooperative Extension Home and Garden Information Center.(2011). Flowers fact sheets. Retrieved from http://www.clemson.edu/extension/hgic/plants/landscape/ flowers/
  5. Clemson Cooperative Extension Home and Garden Information Center.(2011). Groundcovers & vines fact sheets. Retrieved from http://www.clemson.edu/ extension/hgic/plants/landscape/groundcovers/
  6. Clemson Cooperative Extension Home and Garden Information Center.(2011). Trees. Retrieved from http://www.clemson.edu/extension/hgic/ plants/landscape/trees/
  7. Clemson Cooperative Extension Home and Garden Information Center.(2011). Shrubs. Retrieved from http://www.clemson.edu/extension/hgic/plants/landscape/shrubs/
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  11. McMillan, P., Plant taxonomist Clemson University, personal communication.
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  13. North Carolina State University (2005). Plant fact sheets. Retrieved from http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/hort/consumer/factsheets/index.html
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  16. USDA . Plant profile. (n/d).Retrieved from http://plants.usda.gov/java/
  17. USDA. Plant wetland indicator status. (n/d). Retrieved from http://plants.usda.gov/wetland.html
  18. Vincent, E., Environmental horticulturist Clemson University, personal communication.
  19. Clemson Extension. Carolina Yards Plant Database. Retrieved from https://www.clemson.edu/extension/carolinayards/plant-database/index.htm

*Soil pH is determined using a professional soil test. Contact your Clemson University County Extension service for assistance www.clemson.edu/extension/. Click on “local offices”.

**2012 Plant Wetland Indicator categories (quantitative derived) http://plants.usda.gov/wetinfo.html

Plant Wetland Indicator categories
Indicator Code Indicator Status Comment
OBL Obligate Wetland Almost always is a hydrophyte, rarely in uplands
FACW Facultative Wetland Usually is a hydrophyte but occasionally found in uplands
FAC Facultative Commonly occurs as either a hydrophyte or non-hydrophyte
FACU Facultative Upland Occasionally is a hydrophyte but usually occurs in uplands
UPL Obligate Upland Rarely is a hydrophyte, almost always in uplands