The genus Alpinia
is reported to be the largest genus in the ginger family with over two hundred
species native to Asia. This herbaceous
perennial grows two to five feet tall (depending on conditions) and is
evergreen down to temperatures in the low to mid-20’s. In north Florida, colder
temperatures will kill it to the ground and it will resprout in spring. A
distinctive ginger aroma is detected by simply brushing the leaves. It rarely
flowers in Florida, even in south Florida.
Light: part shade to full shade, will tolerate full sun with good care
Water: moderately drought tolerant once established, irrigation may be beneficial in droughts, grows taller in a moist site
Soil: adaptable, wide pH tolerance
This is an easy garden plant in north Florida but is not easy to find in
nurseries. It is sold sometimes as dwarf cardamon but it is not the source of
the commercial spice. The bold texture and dense foliage make it an attractive,
tall groundcover in shady locations. A single specimen serves as a small to
medium sized shrub in the landscape. It rarely flowers in our area.