Susan Cook with some Ornamental Ginger growing in a Jones Hill garden.
Susan Cook with some Ornamental Ginger growing in a Jones Hill garden. Renee Pilcher

Three ornamental gingers banned

THREE ornamental ginger varieties, popular in Gympie region gardens, have been declared weed species. Householders must now control or remove them completely from their gardens.

Minister for Primary Industries, Fisheries, Rural and Regional Queensland Tim Mulherin asked Queenslanders to look out for ornamental ginger plants – yellow, white, and kahili – and help stop their spread.

“The news that ginger is a problem plant may be a surprise for some people,” he said.

“Ginger has been around for a long time and is common in backyard gardens but yellow, white and kahili ginger can suppress or replace native plants and they pose a real threat to our national parks and forests.

“The newly-declared weed species are ornamental plants, not the food producing variety.

“Yellow ginger is not known to be established in the wild and has been declared a Class 1 weed to prevent this happening,” he said.

“White and kahili ginger are Class 3 weeds. This means landholders adjacent to environmentally significant areas (such as national parks) must control these weeds on their property.”

Wallu Nursery owner Kev Thornley said the three declared gingers were common in Gympie and Cooloola Coast gardens but he did not sell the varieties that are now banned.

He said the banned varieties were common plantings by landscapers but many had started to realise the problems involved with them.

Mr Thornley recommended cutting ginger stalks at just above ground level, then spray them immediately with a strong mix of glyphosate. The best way to do this is to have a spray bottle in the hand as the stalks are cut off.

Under the Land Protection Act, penalties now apply for selling or trading yellow, kahili and white ginger in Queensland. If you see these weeds for sale, contact Biosecurity Queensland on 13 25 23.

For more information, visit or phone the council.

What to look for:

Yellow ginger (Hedychium flavescens) – Class 1: fragrant yellow, or yellow-white flowers; attractive flower spikes 15-20cm long; grows between 1-2m tall;

White ginger (Hedychium coronarium) – Class 3: fragrant white flowers; attractive flower spikes 10-20cm long; grows between 1-3m tall;

Kahili ginger (Hedychium gardnerianum) – Class 3: lemon-yellow flowers with red stamens arranged as a spike 12-45 cm long; flowers turn into orange coloured seed pods; pods open to reveal bright red mature seed heads; grows between 1-2m tall.

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