Zingiber is from Sanskrit meaning “shaped like a horn” which refers to the leaves of this plant. “Spectabile” is from Latin meaning “spectacular’.
Zingiber spectabile is also known as the Beehive Ginger as it is related to ginger, or Ginger Wort or Malaysian Ginger. It is native to Maritime Southeast Asia, which includes countries such as Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and East Timor. It belongs to the Zingiberaceae family of plants. Zingiber spectabile is a rhizomatous perennial plant. It has unbranched stems.
Zingiber spectabile leaves are long and oblong ending in a point at the tip. In its native environment, Zingiber spectabile can grow to about 15ft or 4.5m. It has small purple-colored flowers with yellow centers that appear on bracts that can range in colors of white, yellow to orange. These bracts resemble cones or beehives. It usually flowers in summer.
Zingiber spectabile prefers filtered sun or partial shade and a rich moist-soil and a humid environment. Propagate by seed or division. You can also plant a section of the rhizomes. Cut back old stems. Generally, Zingiber spectabile is disease-free. Watch out for red spider mite, especially when it is grown in a greenhouse.
Zingiber spectabile is used locally to flavor food as well as for traditional medicine. In Indonesia, it is used for treating inflammation of the eyes or to treat burns and headaches. In modern medicine, it has been researched for tracing colon cancer due to the Zerumbone synthase enzyme.