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Burbidgea schizocheila

Golden Brush (Burbidgea schizocheila)

I had to buy this plant after reading Tovah Martin’s description of it in Unexpected Houseplants. She says, “There’s dance movement in these blossoms. From the little topknot that promises to swell into blossoms onward, the show is like watching choreography. The flowers are orange toward the center of their little yellow whorl and then expand like sea urchins to open like orchids. The whole performance continues for weeks, until the flowers gracefully fall.” She goes on to say, “If you bruise the stem, it emits the slightest ghost of a gingery scent.” How could I not want one?! You do, too, don’t you?

You can buy Burbidgea schizocheila online from Logee’s, but just telling the truth here, mail order houseplants take their time recovering from the trip, in my experience. I don’t recommend getting them that way if there’s any other way you can get them. I wasn’t sure this little ginger was going to make it; it sulked for months. I’m beginning to wonder if it is fluoride sensitive due to leaf tips that brown easily, even in the presence of high humidity. I usually use fluoridated city water, but have access to well water. I’ll try to remember to switch and see if it helps. Thanks to Ellen Zachos (Tempting Tropicals) for that tip.

Although Burbidgea schizocheila has been a slow grower, there has been steady new growth all along. Tovah promises “quite a scene” once it matures into multiple heads.

Scientific name: Burbidgea schizocheila

Common names: Golden brush, dwarf ginger

Family: Zingiberaceae

Nativity: Malaysia

Location: Houseplant at Oakleaf Woods

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Burbidgea schizocheila

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