Beehive Ginger

 

Beehive Ginger- (Zingiber spectablis, the spectacular ginger)  It can be up to six feet tall.  It likes humidity and shade and tropical conditions. It can sprout a flower on every single shelf, 20 or more, but it doesn’t do that at all once. The flowers start at the bottom and begin blooming up, but only a few are ever showing at a time.  Water can pool in the little brackets, and mosquitoes can breed there.  It grows in many parts of the tropics, and it is used variously in medicinal and food preparations, as well for ornamental purposes.  A stem of one of these beehives, or pinecones (they are, of course, neither, but the science of identification and description  is a world chock  full of analogies) will keep for a week or more in your flower arrangements.

The colours can range from a chocolate brown to a red.  The chocolate is a variation.  The red tends to be the result of having  been in full sun (which is, again, not their favourite condition, although the red is quite stunning so I like it).

From all I’ve read it is supposed to be scented, but I couldn’t smell anything, and now I feel a bit indignant about that.

The inflorescences are basal,” whatever that means.  “An inflorescence is a group or cluster of flowers arranged on a stem that is composed of a main branch or a complicated arrangement of branches. Morphologically, it is the part of the shoot of seed plants where flowers are formed and which is accordingly modified.” (wikipedia)

There is a two page long paper about the species here.

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2 Comments

  1. Mama Squirrel
    Posted August 1, 2017 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    I’ve never seen anything like that! (Besides pinecones, I mean.) Amazing.

    • Headmistress
      Posted August 1, 2017 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

      It was astonishing. On the drive up I had seen several pots of it at roadside stands but my first thought was that they were fake- plastic or something. I was delighted when I was able to get close enough to touch a good sized grouping of them (they were probably only about 4-5 feet tall at the tallest).

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