Ask Ella: The Nuanced Complexities of the Red Ginger Flower
The ginger plant is known for its many healthful properties— but one variety (Alpinia purpurata) has an incredible, bright-red flower that adds a bold, elegant accent to any floral arrangement. The red ginger flower, sometimes known as Jungle King, Tahitian Ginger, or Ostrich Plume, grows across the world, particularly in tropical areas of the South Pacific. Hawai’ians often wore the ginger flower in leis during important, royal occasions, but more common folk used the stems of the plant to cure stomach aches (just as more typical varieties of ginger today are often recommended to those feeling nauseous).
Unfortunately, the red ginger flower is not a long-lasting bloom, and it will dry quickly. To prolong the life of the flower, store the bouquet in a cool spot, cut the stems an inch each day, and keep the arrangement in fresh, cold water. Ella loves the look of a single red ginger flower in a simple glass vessel, left to stand on its own. For a fuller arrangement, however, she recommends embellishing the bloom with tropical leaves– like the monstera leaf, star leaves, and palm leaves– to create a lush, striking bouquet. Red ginger flowers also pair well with protea, as the two have a similar lifespan and complementary styles. When it comes to styling the ginger flower, it’s hard to go wrong!