The bamboo ginger
There is a plant which you may see in tropical gardens which resemble both a bamboo and a ginger. When in blossom there is no doubt, it is Costus stenophyllus, bamboo ginger, of the spiral ginger family (Costaceae). This ornamental plant is native to South America but is also grown in Chiang Mai.
Like all members of the ginger order Zingiberales the above-ground pseudostems are just bundles of leaves. In this case they resemble bamboo or porcupine quills. Thai members of the spiral ginger family have been treated previously by Dokmai Dogma.
The bamboo ginger is currently in blossom at Dokmai Garden.
Donors of the photo model: Annelie and Manus Hendriks
Text & Photo: Eric Danell