Curcuma petiolata

Common Name: queen lily 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Zingiberaceae
Native Range: Malaysia
Zone: 8 to 10
Height: 1.00 to 3.00 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Bloom Time: Seasonal bloomer
Bloom Description: Yellow with violet/green bracts
Sun: Part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Annual
Flower: Showy


Winter hardy to USDA Zones 8-10. In St. Louis, plant rhizomes in spring after last frost date in organically rich, medium moisture, well-drained soils in part shade. Likes hot summers and high humidity. Provide regular moisture throughout the growing season and do not allow soils to dry out. Dig rhizomes in fall after first frost, remove top growth and store in a cool, dry location in peat or vermiculite that is kept very slightly moist throughout the winter. Plant rhizomes again in spring. May also be grown in containers that should be overwintered indoors in the pots in a cool dry location with minimal moisture (just enough to keep potting soil from totally drying out).

Noteworthy Characteristics

Curcuma petiolata, commonly called queen lily, is native to Malaysia. It is a rhizomatous tropical perennial in the ginger family that grows 1-3’ tall. Large long-stalked leaves (to 10” long and 6” wide). Flower stalks are topped in mid to late summer by 5-6” long spikes of yellow flowers surrounded by violet upper bracts and pale to dark green lower bracts. Closely related to the less ornamental Curcuma longa (turmeric) whose rhizomes are dried and powdered as the main ingredient in curry powder.

Genus name is the Latinized version of the Arabic name.

Specific epithet means with a leaf-stalk or a particularly long petiole.


No serious insect or disease problems.


Borders. Containers.