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Wet Red Wax Ginger glows in dimly lit Rare Plant House | by jungle mama
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Wet Red Wax Ginger glows in dimly lit Rare Plant House

Indonesian Wax Ginger is a moisture and shade loving plant, 5-6 feet tall. The basal inflorescence is a gorgeous solid bright red, and the bracts are very stiff and waxy. Excellent as a tropical garden plant or as a cut flower. Blooms throughout the year.


The small, tubular, 3-lobed, yellow flowers emerge from between shiny, waxy, red, spirally-arranged, tongue-like, point-tipped floral bracts on 4 to 12 inch (10 to 30 cm) long, cone-shaped inflorescences. The inflorescences arise directly from the underground rhizomes or are borne on the stems. The leaves are green, hairless above, fuzzy or hairless below, narrowly elliptic to oblanceolate in shape, up to 15 inches (38 cm) long, and spirally arranged around the stems. The branched, cane-like stems emerge from underground rhizomes. The main stems are brown, semi-woody, mostly upright, and bamboo-like, while the green, leafy side stems are curved into a graceful spiral arc.


In Hawaii, Indonesian Wax Gingers are grown in moist, humid, shady gardens. The stiff, waxy inflorescences make long lasting cut flowers in tropical flower arrangements.


Red Wax Ginger, Tapeinochilos ananassae, Costaceae

Windows to the Tropics, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Miami F

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Taken on March 12, 2011