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The genus Aframomum is well known in African forests because the bright red, fleshy fruit of several species contain a sweet juicy pulp and is eaten widely by primates and other mammals.
Aframomum melegueta is a herbaceous perennial plant native to swampy habitats along the West African coast. Its trumpet-shaped, purple flowers develop into 5- to 7-cm long pods containing numerous small, reddish-brown seeds.
Seeds of this rare Ginger are similar in flavor to cardamom and used as a pungent spice. This Ginger has many bioactives, great for digestive and intestinal health. The plant has many other medicinal values: anti-diabetic and anti-obese mechanisms, aphrodisiac and testosterone boosting properties. Aframomum melegueta may be promising for a spice to add to a diet in hopes of body recomposition. Studies show this spice increases sexual behavior.
Alpinia zerumbet 'Variegata' (Variegated ginger) is a small shrub native to South Africa that grows to a height of 2 - 5 feet. The foliage is a glossy green with white and off-white striping, adding interest to the garden. This plant blooms seasonally with lovely white, off-white, red, crimson, vinous, yellow and orange flowers, adding further visual appeal.
When planting, gingers prefer soils that are kept moist, so watering regularly is important. In cold regions, it is best planted in a pot as mature plants are cold hardy only to at least 30s F for a short period of time. In order to survive harsh winters, the pot can be brought indoors.
To promote healthy growth, the soil should be well drained with plenty of organic matter. Fertilize twice a year, once in the spring and again in the summer with a balanced organic fertilizer. To further ensure the health of the plant, remove any dead foliage and flowers.
Alpinia zerumbet 'Variegata' is a great choice for the home garden. The colorful foliage and variety of flowers make this species a great ornamental in any garden. With appropriate care and water, this plant is sure to provide pleasure in the garden for many years.
Galanga is an herb used in cooking, especially in Indonesian and Thai cuisines. It is one of four plants known as galangal, and is differentiated from the others with the common name greater galangal (or simply Thai galangal). The galangals are also called blue ginger or Thai ginger.
A. galanga is called laos in Indonesian and is the most common form of galangal used in cooking. It is also known as lengkuas and galanga root.
Among the best-known members of this genus is Alpinia henryi 'Pink Perfection', a large shrub or small tree reaching 5-10ft in height and 2-5ft in width. Its native habitat is Subtropical Asia, but it can be successfully grown as an ornamental in USDA zones 9-11. It's a hardy and attractive plant, with deep green, glossy foliage and an abundance of pink flowers throughout the year. In the right conditions, it can be a real show-stopper, its flowers being especially fragrant.
Caring for Alpinia henryi 'Pink Perfection' is not particularly difficult. It prefers a spot in full sun or semi-shade, in well-drained soil, and regular watering. Some mulching during the summer can help protect the roots from the heat. It can suffer from frost damage, so if you're growing it in a pot in a cold region, you should move it indoors during the winter months. Also, the plant may suffer from mealybugs, so if you notice their presence it's best to take appropriate action as soon as possible.
In general, Alpinia henryi 'Pink Perfection' is an easy-to-care-for plant that can make a wonderful addition to any garden or conservatory. With its lush foliage, abundant flowers, and heavenly fragrance, it can certainly bring a touch of the exotic and an undeniable beauty to your outdoor spaces.
This fragrant ginger looks like a dwarf bamboo bush. This Ginger boasts dark green leaves with red undersides. Bamboo Ginger is also a fragrant ginger that looks like a dwarf bamboo bush with a great clumping habit. Perfect patio container plant. Prefers some shade. Mature height of 2-3'. Zones 7 and higher. Reaches 2-3' and produces flowers.
The specific epithet luteocarpa means yellow fruit. The genus Alpinia is named after the Italian botanist and physician Prospero Alpino (1553-1616) who was a professor of botany at the university of Padua and extensively studied the Egyptian and Mediterranean flora.
Alpinia malaccensis is cultivated for ornamental and medicinal purposes. It is a native of Indonesia and Malaysia. An oil is obtained from dried rhizome. The rhizomes are ginger-scented. Likes a slightly acid soil. Tubular flowers in droopy clusters. The flowers come mostly in summer.
Alpinia malaccensis is similar to Alpinia nutans
The plant is quite versatile and makes for an excellent garden plant in USDA growing zones 7-9. It can either be grown as a large shrub of 5-10 feet in height or as a small shrub of 2-5 feet. Alpinia nutans requires full sun or partial shade, but prefers humid conditions and regular watering. Its stunning hot pink flowers, borne atop long flowering stems, bloom beginning in June and continue until the Fall.
It is a fairly salt tolerant plant, making it suitable for seaside areas. In cold climates, the mature plant is hardy at least to the low 30s Fahrenheit for a short time, although for best results it should be grown in a pot and stored in an area that does not freeze in the winter, such as a greenhouse or garage. Watering should be reduced in cold conditions and kept to a minimum until warm weather resumes. During the spring, the rhizome should be restrained or it will overthrow its container. Plants should be repotted in the spring if they outgrow their original container. Fertilize annually with compost or an appropriate plant food to encourage growth, and do regular pest and disease checks.
Alpinia officinarum originated in China, where its name ultimately derives. It can grow several feet high, with long leaves and reddish-white flowers. The rhizomes, known as galangal, are valued for their spicy flavor and aromatic scent. These are used throughout Asia in curries and perfumes, and were previously used widely in Europe. They are also used as an herbal remedy.