Sunday, October 5, 2008

Kaempferia marginata - don't step on it !


Kaempferia marginata is a deciduous ginger found in seasonally dry grassland of China (Yunnan), India, Myanmar and Thailand. It is closely related to K. galanga which is widely cultivated for spice and which shares the same growth habit, viz a pair of circular leaves lying flat out on the ground. This calls to mind some desert lily called Haemanthus from Africa and could be an adaptation to reduce water loss. It is often used in traditional medicine across the region to relieve toothache and gastric discomfort. The flower is very short lived, lasting less than half a day but during season new flower appears almost daily.

4 comments:

titania said...

There are so many interesting plants around for beauty and medicinal purposes. To me it looks like an orchid.

Hort Log said...

yes I agree...many ginger flowers are orchid-like, with a modified lip that serve as landing pad for pollinators. This one is especially so with its fully open flower.

Hermes said...

That is just such an amazing picture. I keep going back to look at it.

Hort Log said...

yes this plant's quite neat. The red leaves ones are even more interesting, I am still hunting for it.

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