Thursday, August 13, 2009
Shell Ginger, Alpinia zerumbet. Some Shell Ginger blooming at the zoo. I love the glossy little flowers and the bright yellow lips with deep red striations. It's really quite unique. They are native to Southeast Asia but are found in gardens worldwide including outdoors here in Southern California where they grow to over 8 ft. tall.
If you are wondering, yes, this is related to the Ginger, Zingiber officinale, you eat as a spice and, perhaps, for medicinale purposes such as to get rid of colds. The culinary ginger plant is much smaller, however, reaching perhaps a foot to 18" tall and has flowers that are rather drab.