Sunday, 12 December 2010

alpinia formosana (pinstripe ginger)

Whilst potting around the garden, I noticed that my Alpinia fomorsana was blooming for the very first time. I've grown mine from a rhizome (which I imported from Aloha) in a pot for the last two years. The plant is about 1.2 to 1.5 metres tall and appears to do very well in our climate. The flowers are porcelain white with pink tips and have a strong gingery fragrance. However, unlike it's showy cousins the alpinia zerumbet, this species is grown more for its outstanding foliage consisting of glossy green leaves with fine white pinstriping. It grows well in pots, but probably produces larger inflorescences if grown in the ground. This species is often mistaken for the Alpinia vittata which is quite common in our nursery trade.

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