My ginger plants – zingiber officinale or culinary ginger, in this case – are growing in their clumps around the garden. I had deliberately planted each clump in different locations to see how they would develop. The particular clump I’m referring to now is the one that had the hardest start – I’d planted it in full sunlight, where it had a very slow and rocky beginning. However, once my long bean plants grew and covered the trellis I had set up to grow above the ginger plants, the little rhizomes had a second wind and began to thrive in the semi-shade. They established themselves so well that even after the long bean plants died out, they managed to hold their own and grow well with less shade.
I was doing a bit of weeding around them recently when I noticed a flower stem growing in the middle of the clump. It looked like a cob covered in green scales growing at the top of a long stem. A week later, I noticed little white tips beginning to emerge along the edge of each “scale”. I was surprised, because I didn’t think that edible ginger plants flowered. Duh.
A week or so after that, I was passing by when a flash of colour caught my eye. Upon closer inspection, I found that a small, deep red orchid-like flower had grown where the white tip had been. Just look at the close up of it below… it’s gorgeous!
I don’t know why the flowers emerge only individually or in pairs – it would be amazing to see the entire head in bloom!
Here’s info I got from flowersofindia.net:
The inflorescence (flower) grows on a separate stem from the leaf stem, and forms a dense spike, up to 3 in tall. The bracts are green with translucent margins and the small flowers are yellow green with purple lips and cream colored blotches.
Hmm, so those are the proper terms for the parts of the flower… Well at least you don’t have to be an expert to appreciate the beauty of nature!