Saturday, January 23, 2010

Red Wild Ginger Blooms - Zingiberaceae (Ginger Family) -

These bright blooming stalks of the 'Alpina Purpurata', also known as ' Polynesian Princess' in Hawaii, started me off doing my first flowers in 2010.

Brief notes on Ginger Plants >

There must be hundreds of different variety of ginger plants under the 'Zingiberaceae' group/family. Beside the Alpina purpurata/Polynesian Princess that stand tall in the above geometric-design flower arrangement, I found out that there are several types of 'ginger' commonly used by my kampung folks either in their cooking or herbal medicines such as the following list :-

common ginger - Zingiber officinale
Halia (common cooking Ginger, Botanical name - Zingiber officinle) is known to be used to treat upset stomach, indigestion, motion sickness and muscular cramps. Ginger is also added in cooking so as to relieve fevers and bodily pains as well as to remove toxins from the body.

Temu Kunci - Fingeroot, Boesenbergia rotunda

Temu Kunci- Fingeroot (Botanical name - Boesenbergia rotunda) also known as 'Chinese Ginger', 'Thai Ginger' is a tall ginger plant with beautiful purplish-pink flowers and its long tubers sprout out from the middle of its rhizome. It is so called 'finger root' because the shape of the rhizomes appears to look like the human fingers. Temu Kunci gives out a strong flavor and popular in Indonesian and Thai cooking, often added into fish curries.

Temu Kunci is sometimes used for swellings, treating wounds and diarrhea. The Malays also use it for postnatal care/nursing mothers.

Temu Lawak (Curcuma xanthorrhiza) or Temu Putih still under the  Zingiberaceae  family, is said to originates from Indonesia. Its rhizome commonly use in herbal treatments due to its anti-viral and anti inflamation properties. Also used in cooking as it give certain flavor especially in Indonesian dishes. It is said to have aromatic but pungent smell and has bitter taste. The traditional Malay midwife recommended this type of ginger since it has effect on breast milk production.

Temu Pauh-
Halia Bara-Zingeber officinale var. rubrum

halia bara

Bunga Kantan - Torch ginger (Etlingera Elatior)

Bunga Kantan, a common name in Malaysia, is also known by various names -Torch Ginger, Ginger Flower, Red Ginger Lily, Wild Ginger, Philippine Wax Flower, Indonesian Tall Ginger, Porcelain Rose. Its preety pink flowers are often used in flower arangements and also in cooking giving the dishes an exclusive flavour
Then there also other varieties often used in floral arrangement >

Pinecone ginger/Pinecone Lily - Shampoo ginger (Zingiber serubet)

Siam Tulip (Curcuma Alisnatiforia)

Note : need more info on the different types of  rhizomes under the ginger family
Ref : Plant Aficionado,,Daves Garden

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