Explore Jul 29, 2011 #39
The old and the new. Yesterday's blossom has dried, browned and crinkled. Today's has a brilliant coral and gold pattern on its delicate white ruffly petals and red tongue-like stamens. A most exotic flower hidden amidst abundant lance-shaped green foliage on tall sturdy stems!
Spiral Ginger grows to 3 feet; leaves to 14 inches long and 7 inches wide, obscurely striped with darker green above; flower spikes to 2.5 inches long, terminating the leafy stem, bracts lacking a thickened callus at the tip; flowers white to yellow, lip marked with red.
Possible medical uses are being explored. The cytotoxic effects of crude extract from the root of Costus malortieanus were investigated. Polar fraction of the plant was extracted by methanol. The extract was tested for its cytotoxicity effects toward two types of cells: normal embryonic liver cell line (WR 68) and liver cancer cell line (Hep G2). The cells were treated with different concentrations of the extract. The result showed that the extract from the root has low toxicity toward normal cells and high toxicity toward cancer cells. American-Eurasian Journal of Toxicological Science 3/(2): 63-66, 2011.www.idosi.org/aejts/3(2)11/3.pdf
Costus malortieanus, Spiral Flag, Spiral Ginger, Stepladder Ginger
Rare Plant House, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Miami, FL