Zingiber spectabile

Zingiber spectabile
Source: Winniepix

Zingiber spectabile or Beehive Ginger is a kind of ginger with a remarkable flower that looks like a beehive.

It is quite rare and hard to find but it is a very spectacular plant that is worth the trouble.

In the tropics and subtropics, it is an evergreen plant that is sometimes used as a fence. The aboveground part of the plant dies when frost appears. However, in USDA zone 8 it can resist with winter protection.

Flowering will be difficult outside the tropics and sub-tropics.

Description:

Zingiber spectabile is a tropical herbaceous plant with dark green leaves up to 2.5 m high.

The inflorescence appears at the top of a basal flower stalk. It looks like a honeycomb formed by the bracts and is light yellow. The flowers appear in pairs, from the bottom of the inflorescence upwards. Each flower blooms only one day.

As the inflorescence ages and if it enjoys sunlight, the color changes to orange and then red. The inflorescence is prized as cut flower and last for months.

All parts of the plant exude a pleasant aroma of ginger.

Nomenclature:

Common names:

Beehive Ginger, Black Gingerwort, Malaysian Ginger

Etymology:

The name Zingiber originates from the Tamil words, iñci vēr, which literally means ginger root.
Spectabile is derived from Latin and means remarkable, showy.

Origin:

Malaysia

Habitat:

Tropical open woods and hillsides



Hardiness:

USDA Zone 8-11, -10 °C
The aerial part dies at 0 °C and the base of the plant needs winter protection by mulching for surviving.

Care:

It is easy to care for but will rarely flower above USDA zone 9,

Soil:

Nutritious, rich in humus and draining

Water:

The plant likes to be continually moist but not wet. Water often but avoid standing water in a pot.

Fertilizer:

In summer: every two weeks with general liquid fertilizer.

Light:

Sun, partial shade

Temperature:

15-30 °C
At less than 15 °C growth stops.
The underground tuber tolerates frost in USDA zone 8 provided winter protection (e.g. mulch layer of a leaves). The tuber can be dug out before the winter and kept frost free inside.

Propagation:

Division, stem cuttings and seed.

Division:

Division of the rhizome is the easiest way to propagate the plant. Do this in spring, for example when repotting.

Sowing:

The seeds quickly lose their ability to germinate, so sow as soon as possible.

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