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Roscoea alpina is a perennial herbaceous plant native to the Himalayas. In nature it grows in cold mountainous regions, and it is grown as an ornamental plant in gardens around the world.

In its native habitats, R. alpina flowers between May and August. Flowers open in succession and are purple or lilac in colour. R. alpina is grown in rock gardens. They generally require a relatively sunny position with moisture-retaining but well-drained soil.

The height reached in cultivation, up to 40 cm, exceeds that given for the species in the wild, where it is said to reach only 20 cm.

When grown at Royal Botanic Gardens, R. alpina requires more shade than other species of Roscoea.

Hardiness zones: 6-9

Seeds per pack: 3

Germination: As with many perennial seeds, these seeds require a period of moist cold to help them grow. This is done by giving them a cold 'winter' period (artificial or natural), and then a warming to simulate 'spring', and time to grow! Here's how this can be done:

Obtain a planting container that has holes in the bottom for excess water to drain. Place the seeds just under the surface of your growing medium, and water. Place your container in a cold area (but not freezing, perhaps a refrigerator) for 4-6 weeks. Once the cold period is completed, place the container at room temperature for them to germinate. After the warming period they can germinate anywhere from 8 weeks, up to a year. Patience is required, though they will be well worth the wait! Be sure to keep the soil moist during this entire germination period.

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