Tropical Ginger Plants - Exotic Red Flowers
Ginger Plants (Zingiberaceae) contain around 1,000 species of tropical
Some gingers are cultivated for their edible rhizomes,
which are used as both a medicine and a culinary spice.
Other gingers, known as ornamental gingers, are grown primarily for
their pleasing appearance. Leafy cane-like stems arise from
rhizomes to form a plant 3 to 15 feet tall and 2 to 4 feet wide.
Throughout the year, gingers produce stunning blooms that are often
used in flower arrangements. Ginger bracts come in a variety of colors
from bright red to light pink. Red ginger loves moist, well-drained
soil and partial shade.
Ornamental gingers, while related to edibles, are usually grown
for their looks instead of their flavor. Alpinia ginger flowers are
long lasting, and tolerate long distance shipping, which makes them
popular cut flowers.
They can be very rewarding to grow, and with some simple care will
continue to produce beautiful leaves and flowers for many years.
Red gingers (Alpina purpurata), are also called Ostrich Plume, Pink
Cone Ginger, Jungle King Plant and Jungle Queen Plant. These
ginger plants are tall, upright, herbaceous, evergreen plants from the
South Pacific, with bright red to pink floral bracts and inconspicuous
They are widely cultivated in the tropics and subtropics. Gingers
attract bees, butterflies and/or birds.
The deep green leaves are alternate and sessile (lacking a petiole),
with a long sheath that wraps around the stem. Leaf blades are oblong,
12 to 32 inches long and 4 to 9 inches wide, with a pointed apex.
Flower Color: Pink, Rose/Mauve, Magenta (Pink-Purple), Red
Plants are tall and slow growing. It takes three years before red
ginger plants bloom. Flowers emerge from the end of each stalk and grow
as a clump of spikes in colors such as vibrant red, pink, or white
depending on the cultivar.
Ginger flowers can be as large as a football and reproduce by growing
new plants in the middle of old, dying flowers. This weighs the flowers
down; causing them to sag to the ground, at which time the newest
plants can be removed and planted. Use in tropical landscaping or as
The plant produces seed capsules only rarely. The capsules are nearly
globose, about 4 to 6 inches long and 3⁄4 to 1-1⁄4 inches in diameter,
and split open when the seeds are ripe. The seeds are about 1⁄10-inch
long, black, oily, and may have a red aril.
Alpina purpurata are among the most common and stunningly beautiful of
tropical. From the startling red ginger to the subtle pink shell
ginger, these attractive plants are easy to grow in home landscapes in
tropical and semi-tropical areas.
If you live in a temperate climate such as the southern United States,
you can grow ginger plants in large decorative pots outdoors in the
summertime when they bloom and then move them indoors so they can be
protected from cooler weather and frost in the fall and winter months.
USDA Hardiness Zones
10 - 12