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December 2011
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Alpinia which is also known as Tahitian Ginger belong to Family Zingiberaceae and Genus Alpinia.

Image of Alpinia plant at Google

Alpinia which is also known as Tahitian Ginger can grow up to a height of 6-7 feet. The flowers are tubular and in droopy clusters. The flowers inflorescence is huge like a football and bloom all year. The flowers are fragrant and the colors vary from pink to deep reds. They are native of Malaya and found in tropical Pacific region. They belong to Family Zingiberaceae and Genus Alpinia.

Varieties of alpinia include:
– Alpinia Purpurata (Red)
– Alpinia Purpurata (Pink)
– Alpinia Purpurata “Jungle King” (Red)
– Alpinia Purpurata “Jungle Queen” (Pink)
– Alpinia Purpurata “Kimi Ginger”
– Alpinia Purpurata “Tomi Pink”
– Alpinia Zerumbet
– Alpinia Coerulea “Blue Berry Ginger”, “Hanging Pink”, etc.

This is not an edible ginger. The flowers grow on long racemes. Alpinias are used as cut flowers and used in flower arrangements. The flowers are popular in Hawaiian tropical flower arrangements. The leaves have a tropical look and the foliage is also used in flower arrangements. The new plant grows in midst of old flowers. Alpinias are pollinated by bees.

Alpinias are used as Stimulant and carminative, flatulence, dyspepsia, vomiting and sickness at stomach, sea sickness, and fever and also as a cattle medicine. They are used in culinary to flavour curries, soup, meat and fish. It is also used in perfumery.

Growing/Caring conditions of Alpinias
– Plant the alpinia in spring after the danger of frost is passed.
– The plants should be 30cm apart and plant spacing between should be 15-23 cm.
– The plant can be propagated with small rhizome buds, tubers, corms or bulbs.
– The rhizomes are tender when young that is when the skin is brown rather than white.
– Do not harvest the whole clump but only one or two buds.
– This plant needs hard, clayey and dense soil.
– The plant needs indirect light or filtered sun.
– Water the plant everyday.
– Keep the soil moist.
– The minimum temperature for ideal growth is about 68 F.
– The hardiness zone that the plant needs is 9.
– A balanced water soluble fertilizer after flowering is preferred for this plant.
– No serious insect or disease affects the plant.
– Rich, fertile, organic soil is preferred for good growth of plant.
– Avoid sogginess of soil but maintain the moistness of the soil.
– Pruning can be done to avoid over sizing of plant.

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