Characteristics of Alpinia Officinarum
– Alpinia officinarum which is also known as lesser galangal, Kencur, Sand ginger, Aromatic Ginger or Resurrection Lily is a plant in the ginger family.
– It is a native of china and occurs mainly on the southeast coast.
– India is the second largest exporter of this rhizome.
– This rhizome is small and is used in ancient and medieval Europe.
– Its skin is reddish brown and preferred than the greater Galangal as it is sweeter and stronger.
– The taste is somewhat similar to cinnamon.
– It is used to flavor vinegar and Nastoika liquor.
– It is a spice and medicine both mainly in Lithuania and Estonia.
– It is also used in tea in Central Asia.
– This Alpinia can grow up to a height of two to four feet.
– It slows the increase and growth of breast tumor cells.
– 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 flavor curries, soup, meat and fish.
– It is also used in perfumery.
Growing/Caring conditions of Alpinia Officinarum
• 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.