Red ginger, native to Malaysia, is in Family Zingiberaceae.
They are grown as ornamentals and for cut flowers.
They are evergreen, clump forming perennials growing from rhizomes.
The unbranched stems (actually pseudo-stems) are 3 to 4 m high.
The lance-shaped leaves, alternate and in 2 ranks, have no petiole.
The blade is attached to the long sheath that wraps around the stem.
Leaves are around 70 cm long and 15 cm wide.
The tip is pointed and the edge wavy.
The terminal inflorescences are erect spikes up to 30 cm long.
The flowers are small and mostly hidden by the bracteoles at their base.
The ovate, bright red bracteoles are up to 3 cm long.
The 5 mm long, funnel-shaped flowers are white.
There are long calyx and corolla tubes both with 3 lobes.
The fruit are capsules.
Seeds germinate while still on the plant producing offshoots.
The multiple inflorescences weigh the stem down.
Offshoots fall off and grow into new plants.
There are a number of cultivars that vary in height (including dwarf forms),
inflorescence shape (elongated, round, conical), bract shape (e.g. feathery),
bract colour (shades of pink, dark red, variegated, pink with red edges,
magenta, white with pale pink) and offshoots (few, many or none).
Cultivars producing abundant offshoots include Eileen McDonald, Pink Princess, Rosy Dawn and Tahitian.
All are 2 to 3 m high but with different bract colours – from deep red to shades of pink.