from the December 13, 2009 Newsletter
issued from Hacienda Chichen Resort beside Chichén Itzá Ruins, central Yucatán, MÉXICO
Above you see a pretty species planted worldwide in the tropics, Red Ginger, sometimes called Ostrich Plume, ALPINIA PURPURATA. It really is a kind of ginger, or at least a member of the Ginger Family, the Zingiberaceae. The glossy, banana-tree-like leaves are very typical of the Ginger Family, and so is the colorful, cylindrical flower-spike.
Actually, despite the spike's colorfulness, at this time our Red Gingers bear no flowers. Each red, scoop-shaped item is a bract, or modified leaf, which during the flowering season arises beneath a flower. If right now you look into the axil between a bract and the flower stem you'll find only a scar where the fruit has fallen off, or maybe in the lower bracts you'll find an old fruit. The flowers when they do come will be fragrant and orchidlike, white tinged purplish, so that's something to look forward to seeing.
Despite its prettiness this is a rugged and adaptable plant. Originally from Malaysia, in much of the tropics it's gone wild and now is considered an invasive species unwelcome in many places because of its impact on the local flora.
from the February 26, 2012 Newsletter issued from
Hacienda Chichen Resort beside Chichén Itzá Ruins, central Yucatán, MÉXICO
I established several Red Gingers outside the hut door using sprouts just like these. Just picked them off the plant, stuck them into the ground, and waited.