Friday, August 7, 2009

Blooming Friday/Crepe Ginger

Welcome to the first Blooming Friday post of August! This week the
late summer bloomer, the Crepe Ginger, has just started blooming.

The plant is named so because of the crepe-like appearance of the
blooms. The cone-shaped bracts are maroon, and set against this shade
and the dark green of the leaves, the white blooms with the yellow
centre look striking!

Although the blooms look delicate, they're waxy in texture.
Crepe Ginger/Costus speciosus can grow upto 10 feet. Native
to the Malay peninsula, it has naturalized in many tropical
areas of the world. In our region it grows wild in the jungles.
Malay Ginger, Spiral Ginger and Spiral Flag are the other names
that the plant is also known by.

The plant is generally pest-free and is maintenance-free. Although
it needs a well-drained soil, it seems to be happy on my clayey

This is the second year that the plant is blooming in my yard.
The rhizome must've come with nursery soil. When I saw the wild-
looking leaves, I pulled them out but the roots, rhizome rather,
had already gone deep into the ground. Little did I know then,
that one day I would find the blooms so fascinating.

Costaceae are the only gingers that can be propagated from stem
cuttings. In India and south-east Asia, parts of the plant are
used in traditional medicine in the treatment of various ailments.

The blooms attract a lot of bees. I hope to be able to photograph
them....For now it's only the ants on the white blooms.

For more Blooming Friday posts, please visit our gracious host
Katarina at Roses and Stuff.


Chandramouli S said...

It's pure! I like the flower's texture and it's see-through thickness! Seems as if it might stick to your finger if you touch it. Wonderful, Kanak!

Stephanie said...

Kanak, the last time I came across this plant, I recalled that the white bloom was already half dead. So, it is nice to see your post today. The bloom look so good. Ants do get onto my flowers too. They are such a clever creature and always have to work so hard for their food ha ha... Nice post as always!

Anette said...

Always nice to "visit" you and see the beautiful exotic flowers and the butterflies! /Anette

Karen said...

Yet another one to add to my list of "never seen before" plants. I learn so much with ever visit here, Kanak! I see why it got the name, and gingers are so magnificent, at least the ones I've seen in Hawaii. How funny that it came to stay without you planning it! Those are sometimes my favorite plants, as long as they behave. :)

andré said...

It looks amazing as it emerges from within! Nice.

Lillebeth said...

What a beautiful flower - and in your garden. I could only dream about something like that.

Amanda said...

What a lovely flowers in your garden I love white flowers and I never see the beautiful ginger before. /Amanda

Anonymous said...

This is so very pretty and interesting. Sending a big wave and a SMILE to you and wishes for a nice weekend.

islandgal246 said...

Kanak these can take over a garden. I have mine planted in an area the is damp most of the time and bananas as their companion plants. It is far away from the rest of my main garden. There is also a variegated one as well. Have a great weekend!

lotusleaf said...

Delicate looking flowers. One variety of costus is used in the treatment of diabetes.

easygardener said...

Now that is a flower to be proud of! What a beautiful texture and such a pure white colour.

tina said...

It looks so much like a hibiscus. It is gorgeous and I can see the texture in it. I tried ginger here last year and it did not come back this year:( Pineapple ginger I think it was? Not sure.

Carol said...

It feels like we are seeing your bloom blow right out in your fabulous photos... lovely flower! So utterly delicate. What a show for all the little insects and our gaze.

Susie said...

I love how it came in some nursery soil. I bet you were surprised Kanak! Low maintenance and pest free, gotta love that!

HelenJ said...

An amazing flower - and lucky that you didn't manage to get rid of it! =)

Wendy said...

What a beautiful delicate looking flower! You have such interesting plants in your yard. I'm glad you didn't pull out the rhizome!

Do you get the spice "ginger" from any of those ginger plants?

Sue said...

That sure is a pretty flower! It reminds me of a moonflower.

Roses and stuff said...

Kanak, the crepe ginger is beautiful! So pure and imagine something like just popping up from the!

NatureStop said...

What a beautiful flower.Great captures.Is that butterfly the female Striped Albatross?

Prospero said...

Hi Kanak. Yours grows in clay, mine grows in limestone! And yours has bloomed before mine. It's been a little dry around here lately. But what a flower!

sweet bay said...

I hadn't heard of Crepe Ginger before. It's lovely. So is the butterfly!

Kanak Hagjer said...

Chandramouli, that's right. It's fragile-looking but tough!!

Steph, thank you so much! I hope you won't miss the fresh blooms now...

Anette, thank you so much! Exactly what I feel when I visit you too!! long as they behave... is true. So many plants tend to be invasive and looking at the way the plants have multipled, the shadow of the 'I' word is making its presence felt!! I did check out a Hawaiin site...oh, the gingers were pretty! There were some I'd never seen. Variegated leaves and the blooms with a flush of pink.

Andre, thank you so much!!

Kanak Hagjer said...

Lillebeth/ glad to read your comments. Thanks!

Mildred, glad you liked the blooms. have a great Sunday!

Helen, I've seen the variegated ones only on some sites. They're really pretty! I'll need to relocate some of the plants....don't need too many of them.

Padma, thank you for sharing this.

Easygardener, thank you so much!

Tina, I hope your ginger does come up again. Not too sure about pineapple ginger but I'll google!

Carol, loved your description! Thanks!!

Susie, oh I was! What a bonus with a pile of good Mother Earth!

Helen, for all my ignorance, nature was still willing to teach me!!:)

Wendy, not the spice but I read that the tender shoot is eaten as a vegetable and the roots are famine food. The spice ginger does not grow tall, not even as tall as the turmeric plants in one of my older posts.

Sue, thank you so much!

Katarina, especially when you don't expect blooms like that!! Thanks.

Ruby, it is the female Striped Albatross! Difficult to shoot but the time spent in the hot afternoon sun was worth it!

Prospero...oh wow, so a well-drained soil can mean these and more!! Helen (My Rustic Bajan Garden) has hers growing on damp soil! Would love to see your C.ginger blooms when they make an appearance.

Sweet bay, thank you so much!