Forrest's Roscoea Roscoea forrestii

👤 Non-toxic to humans
🐾 Non-toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
Forrest's roscoea


Roscoea forrestii, more commonly known as Forrest's Roscoea, is a perennial herb that exudes a distinctive charm through its unique floral and foliar characteristics. The plant features a clump of narrow, lance-shaped leaves, which provide a lush, green backdrop for the striking blooms that arise in late summer. These leaves are often pleated, with a texture that may appear both smooth and slightly leathery, forming an attractive rosette at the base. The flowers of Forrest's Roscoea are truly eye-catching and can range in color from purple and lavender to a delicate creamy white, sometimes with subtle hints of yellow at their throats. Each blossom consists of a tubular shape, which gives way to a flared upper petal, commonly referred to as the 'lip'. This lip is often lightly spotted or streaked with a darker shade, offering a beautiful contrast to the paler background color of the petals. The lower part of the flower includes smaller petals and sepals which are fused together, creating an elegant, hood-like structure that complements the prominent upper lip. These enchanting blooms are carried on sturdy stems, which rise gracefully above the foliage, displaying the flowers in an appealing, tiered fashion. Forrest's Roscoea is also popular for its late season flowering habit, often providing a burst of color when many other plants have finished blooming. The visual appeal of this hardy plant makes it an admired specimen in garden collections, where it can be appreciated for its ornamental qualities and its ability to bring vibrancy to the late summer landscape.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Synonyms

      Forrest's Roscoea, Yunnan Purple Roscoea

    • Common names

      Roscoea forrestii.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      There is no significant information suggesting that Roscoea forrestii, commonly known as Forrest's Roscoea, is toxic to humans. As with many plants, it is generally advised not to eat parts of ornamental plants due to the potential for unknown toxins or the possibility of pesticides and other chemicals that may have been used on them. If you suspect ingestion and have concerns about poisoning, it is best to consult a medical professional.

    • To pets

      Information specific to the toxicity of Forrest's Roscoea (Roscoea forrestii) to pets is not widely documented. Although it is not listed as a common toxic plant, being cautious with pets around plants is always recommended. If your pet ingests part of this plant and shows symptoms of distress such as vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, or changes in appetite or behavior, you should contact your veterinarian for advice.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      1-2 feet (30-60 cm)

    • Spread

      1 foot (30 cm)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Ornamental value: Roscoea forrestii, commonly known as Forrest's Roscoea, provides aesthetic appeal to gardens with its striking purple flowers and lush green foliage.
    • Ease of care: Forrest's Roscoea is relatively low-maintenance, making it suitable for gardeners with varying levels of experience.
    • Pollinator attraction: The flowers attract bees and other pollinators, supporting biodiversity in the garden.
    • Naturalising: It can spread over time to form natural-looking clusters without becoming invasive, creating a wild garden effect.
    • Shade tolerance: As a woodland plant, it is well-suited for shaded areas where other flowering plants might struggle to grow.
    • Drought resistance: Once established, the plant can tolerate drought to some extent, reducing the need for frequent watering.
    • Cold hardiness: Forrest's Roscoea can endure cold temperatures, making it a practical addition to gardens in cooler climates.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Roscoea forrestii, commonly known as Forrest's Roscoea, can be used as a natural dye, providing a subtle color to fabrics when used in traditional dyeing processes.
    • The plant's rhizomes can be dried and ground into a powder to use as a flavoring agent in some traditional Asian cuisines.
    • In landscape design, Forrest's Roscoea is employed for its unique aesthetic, serving as a focal point in rock gardens and alpine collections.
    • The large leaves of the plant can be used as a natural wrapping material for food, imparting a distinct flavor and eco-friendly packaging solution.
    • Forrest's Roscoea can be cultivated as part of a garden's biodiversity strategy, attracting and providing a habitat for beneficial insects like bees and butterflies.
    • Plant enthusiasts may cultivate Forrest's Roscoea for breeding purposes, aiming to develop new hybrids with varied colors and resilience to different growing conditions.
    • The flowers of Forrest's Roscoea can be used in creative crafts, such as pressing for decorative art, due to their distinctive and attractive appearance.
    • The sturdy stems of Forrest's Roscoea can be harvested and used in the construction of miniature garden structures or in children’s play gardens for educational purposes.
    • During cultural festivals in certain regions, Forrest's Roscoea may be used in botanical displays or parades to represent the local flora and natural heritage.
    • Photographers and artists may use Forrest's Roscoea as a subject for their work, capturing the beauty of the flower and contributing to the plant's cultural and aesthetic appreciation.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The plant Roscoea is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The plant Roscoea is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Exotic Charm: As Roscoea forrestii, commonly known as Forrest's Roscoea, hails from the mountainous regions of China and the Himalayas, it represents the allure and mystery of these exotic locales.
    • Rarity and Uniqueness: The plant is not very common in cultivation, symbolizing uniqueness and the value of rare finds in our lives.
    • Adaptability: Forrest's Roscoea thrives in specific alpine climates, representing the ability to adapt to challenging environments.
    • Beauty in Simplicity: With its simple yet striking flowers, Forrest's Roscoea conveys the idea that true beauty often lies in a stark yet graceful appearance.
    • Hidden Strength: Though delicate in appearance, this plant endures cold climates, symbolizing the unexpected resilience and inner strength one might possess.

Every 1-2 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 2-3 years
Spring-Early Summer
Not needed
  • water dropWater

    Forrest's Cuckoo Orchid prefers evenly moist soil, especially during its active growing season in the spring and summer. Water the plant generously once the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch, which is usually around every week, depending on the climate and indoor conditions. During the dormant period in late fall and winter, reduce watering to every other week, allowing the soil to dry out slightly more between waterings. Be careful not to overwater, as this can lead to root rot. Typically, under indoor conditions, you may need to provide about 16-24 ounces of water per watering session, adjusting based on the plant's response and the environmental humidity and temperature.

  • sunLight

    Forrest's Cuckoo Orchid thrives in partial shade to bright, indirect light. It should be placed where it can receive dappled sunlight or in a spot that gets morning sun and afternoon shade. Avoid exposing the plant to harsh direct sunlight as it can scorch the leaves. A north or east-facing window would be an ideal location for this plant, where it can enjoy bright but filtered light.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Forrest's Cuckoo Orchid prefers moderate temperature conditions and will thrive best when kept between 60 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. It can tolerate a minimum temperature of around 50 degrees Fahrenheit, but prolonged exposure to temperatures below this range can be harmful. Avoid placing the plant in locations with cold drafts or sudden temperature changes, which can cause stress to the plant.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning Forrest's Cuckoo Orchid is typically done to remove dead or damaged foliage and to maintain the plant's shape. Prune sparingly, only when necessary, usually after the flowering season has ended. This will often be in late summer or early fall. Use clean, sharp pruning shears and make your cuts just above where the leaf joins the stem.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Forrest Cobra Lily thrives best in a well-draining, humus-rich soil mix with an ideal pH of 6.5 to 7.5. A mix consisting of two parts peat, one part loam, and one part sharp sand or perlite ensures adequate drainage and organic content for root growth.

  • plantRepotting

    Forrest Cobra Lily should be repotted every 2-3 years, ideally during spring just before the new growth starts. Care should be taken not to damage the delicate roots during repotting.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Forrest Cobra Lily prefers a moderate humidity level, aiming for around 60% if possible. Excessive humidity can lead to fungal issues, while too low may cause desiccation.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Keep Forrest Cobra Lily in a bright spot, avoiding direct sun.

    • Outdoor

      Plant Forrest Cobra Lily in partial shade, well-draining soil.

    • Hardiness zone

      6-9 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Roscoea forrestii, commonly known as Forest's Roscoea, initiates its life cycle from a rhizome, a type of underground stem that can give rise to new plants. In early spring, shoots emerge from the rhizome, developing into long, lance-shaped leaves and stem-like structures. The flowering phase occurs in late spring to early summer, when the plant produces large, orchid-like flowers that are often purple in color, attracting pollinators such as bees. After pollination, the flowers develop into capsules containing seeds. Once mature, these seeds can be dispersed by wind or animals, allowing the plant to colonize new areas. With the onset of autumn, the above-ground parts of the plant die back, and the rhizome remains dormant throughout the winter until the next growing season.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring-Early Summer

    • The most popular method of propagation for Roscoea forrestii, commonly known as Forrest's roscoca, is by division. This usually takes place in the spring as new growth begins to appear. Carefully dig up the plant, ensuring that you maintain a generous amount of soil around the roots. Using a sharp knife or spade, divide the clump into smaller sections, each with at least one growth bud. Replant the divisions immediately in well-draining soil at the same depth they were growing previously, spacing them about 12 inches (approximately 30 centimeters) apart. Water the newly planted divisions thoroughly to help establish them. This division method is an effective way to propagate Forrest's roscoca and helps to maintain the health and vigor of the plant by preventing overcrowding.