The genus Alpinia
is reported to be the largest in the ginger family with over two hundred
species native to Asia. This herbaceous
perennial grows about two feet tall and is evergreen down to temperatures in
the low to mid-20’s F. In north Florida,
colder temperatures may kill it to the ground and it will resprout in spring. The
cultivar on campus is named “Pinstripe.” It has thin yellow lines on the
foliage. It flowers on two year old stalks if the previous winter was mild.
Light: part shade to full shade, will tolerate full sun with good care
Water: moderately drought tolerant in shade, irrigation may be necessary in sun
Soil: average soil, wide pH tolerance, no special requirements
is an easy garden plant for north Florida.
Its relatively small size (for a species of Alpinia)
makes it more useful in the garden than some of the taller varieties.
Unfortunately, it is not common in local nurseries. This is a durable plant
from Asia that may be grown as a low shrub or
a tall groundcover, especially for shady spots.