Sunday, 13 April 2014

Pineapple Ginger (Tapeinochilos Ananassae)

Indonesian Wax Ginger or Pineapple Ginger (Tapeinochilos ananassae) – Like other ginger species growing in Hawaii, this plant was introduced for its ornamental attributes: a large, showy inflorescence and beautiful foliage. Its foliage consists of thick, jointed bamboo-like stems that grow directly from numerous rhizomes. The long, smooth, lance-shaped leaves are arranged on the stem in an inward-curving spiral typical of this species; the leaves radiate outward from the spiral.  The small yellow flowers (which function as attractors to pollinating insects and birds) are aggregated in a large (10-30 cm long), bright-red pineapple-shaped terminal spike consisting of what appear to be waxy bright red flower petals, but are actually bracts (modified leaves that enclose the actual flower). To reach its full height (about 3 m), this species requires very high humidity. It prefers the full shade and moist, fertile, well-drained soils of the rain forest. Unlike many other tropical ginger species, this plant possesses no aromatic essential oils.

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