Butterfly Ginger Lily
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Butterfly Ginger Lily
ative Photo: Radhika Vatsan
Common name: Butterfly Ginger Lily, White Ginger Lily, Garland Flower • Hindi: दोलन चम्पा Dolan champa, सौगन्धिका पुष्प Saugandhika pushp • Manipuri: ꯂꯣꯛꯂꯩ Loklei • Marathi: Sontaka • Kannada: ಸುರುಳಿ ಸುಗಂಧಿ Suruli Sugandhi • Assamese: Pakhila phul • Tamil: Chankitam, Chantikantam, Chantiramullikai • Oriya: स्वर्ण चम्पा Swarna champa • Tangkhul: Tontairui • Telugu: Kichchiligadda, Vasa Vasanthi • Malayalam: Elipoochedi, സുഗന്ദി Sugandhi, സൌഗന്ദികമ് Saugandhikam • Nepali: दूध केवरा Dudh kewara • Tangkhul: Tontairui • Mizo: Ainawnparvar • Urdu: Gul-e bakawali, Gul-e bakawli ﮔﹹﻞﹺ ﺑﲀﻭﻟﯽ
Botanical name: Hedychium coronarium      Family: Zingiberaceae (Ginger family)
Synonyms: Hedychium maximum, Hedychium sulphureum, Hedychium spicatum G.Lodd.

Butterfly ginger lily is beautiful and fragrant flower native to East India. It is a robust, attractive plant that will reach 6 feet in containers. Leaves are lance-shaped and sharp-pointed, 8-24 in long and 2-5 in wide and arranged in 2 neat ranks that run the length of the stem. From midsummer through autumn the stalks are topped with 6-12 in long clusters of wonderfully fragrant white flowers that look like butterflies. The flowers eventually give way to showy seed pods chock full of bright red seeds. The rhizomes of Butterfly ginger lily (called loklei) are used in Manipur in the preparation of traditional dish called as eromba. Butterfly ginger lily is found in the Eastern Himalayas, from Nepal, to Sikkim and NE India, and also Western Ghats, at altitudes of 800-1900 m. It is also found in SE Asia, and is widely cultivated as a garden plant.
Medicinal uses: Extract of rhizomes is given in bronchitis. Decoction of rhizomes is used for gargling in tonsillitis or simply as a mouth wash to avoid bad breath. The herb is used as a febrifuge, tonic and anti-rheumatic. Rhizome paste is applied on bruises and sprains.

Identification credit: Tabish Photographed in Rishikesh, Uttarakhand.

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