Red Ginger

Alpinia purpurata (Zingiberaceae)

Characteristics

Pseudostems, usually about 3 m tall, composed of overlapping leaf-sheaths. Thick rhizoms. Alpinia is the largest genus in the ginger family (Zingiberaceae) with about 230 species.

Red Ginger can be grown in regions like South Florida since, in general, those regions do not fall below freezing temperatures.

Distribution

Native to Malaysia. Today, widespread as ornamental plant, e.g. in Hawaii, Fiji, Panama, Jamaica, Suriname and Belize.

Natural Medical Properties

The fruit is used to treat sores.
A decoction of the leaves is used in the treatment of stomach complaints

Did you know?

Red ginger is the national flower of Samoa, locally called “teuila”.

The red part of the plant is not the true flower but brightly colored bracts (leaves). The true flower is a small white flower on top.

Further reading:

Literature

World Flora Online
WorldChecklist of Selected Plant Families
A working list of all plant species