What is it?
This exotic, ginger-scented perennial with massive, taro-like rhizomes close to the surface has shiny leaves, and cream coloured flowers overlapping in cone-like clusters from May to June. It is sometimes mistaken for a canna lily.
Why is it wicked?
Yellow ginger is extremely shade-tolerant, and tolerates most conditions. It lives a long time, is fast growing and forms deep rhizome beds that prevent other plants establishing. No seed is produced in New Zealand but rhizomes spread outwards slowly, and fragments form new plants.
What can you do?
Cut down and paint the exposed rhizome tops with a suitable herbicide or overall spray. Leaves and stems can be left to rot down, but any rhizomes dug up must be dried out and burnt, or disposed of at a refuse transfer station. For more control methods check out www.weedbusters.org.nz.
Try the native rengarenga (Arthropodium cirratum) or flax (Phormium species), or the large leaved puka (Mertya sinclarii)