A popular spice and kitchen essential in Asian kitchens, ginger is native to the Asian continent. The first image of ginger that comes to mind is a pale brown root with a spicy aroma that is essential to South East Asian cuisine. But did you know that the spice ginger is the root of a flowering plant that produces some of the most exquisite blooms in the world? The ginger flower or ginger lily thrives abundantly in warm and humid tropical and sub-tropical environments. The plant is highly cultivated for its root in India, Japan, Southern China, and Jamaica.
The ginger flower belongs to the genus Alpinia Purpurata of the Zingiberaceae family that has more than 50 species of flowers. When planted in early spring, the ginger plant will bloom abundantly in the summer months from June to September. It grows well in tropical humid conditions, with well-drained moist soil and full sunlight. The plant does poorly in cold conditions. With the popularity of ginger growing, both for its culinary and medicinal value, the ginger plant is now widely cultivated across many countries in the world.
Ginger Flower Varieties
The wide variety of ginger flower species means that a wide variety of ginger flowers exist in different parts of the world. This perennial flowering plant produces sweetly scented large, bright and vivid blossoms arranged in spiral clusters in a wide variety of colors. The most popular colors of the ginger flower are shades of white, yellow, pink, and red. Some ginger flowers can grow to be as large as the size of an adult palm and can measure anywhere between 4-6 inches!
Some species also produce flowers in deep shades of pink and red with waxy textured petals that are primarily used for ornamental purposes. Hybrid varieties produce flowers in a combination of different colors.
The ginger flower or ginger lily is known by different names across the world. There is a wide variation among the flowers of different species in terms of color, shape, size, and scent. The ginger lily is also alternatively known as the Torch Lily or Philippine Torch Lily which is among its common names. Some of the popular and common varieties of the ginger flower include:
1. Hedychium Coronarium
This perennial flowering plant is prized for its medicinal properties. Native to India, Bangladesh, and Bhutan, the Hedychium Coronarium is used to treat stomach issues, liver problems, and internal injuries. Despite its beautiful blooms, it is highly toxic to animals and humans if consumed in significantly large quantities.
2. Malay Ginger
The Malay Ginger Flower is a popular and beautiful variety native to South East Asia. It has long green leaves and its blooms measure about 5cm in width.
3. Butterfly Ginger
True to its name, the Butterfly Ginger is an exquisite species that produces sweet scented red or pink blooms.
4. Alpinia Zerumbet
Also known as the Shell Ginger, this flowering species is native to East Asia. This species is cultivated primarily for ornamental purposes. The plant can grow up to 8-10 feet tall and produces colorful funnel-shaped flowers that are used as decorations.
5. Etlingera Eliator
Native to Malaysia and the Philippines, this species is also commonly known as the Red Torch Ginger Lily. This species produces beautiful large and bright red blooms that resemble bright torches.
These are just some of the varieties of the ginger flower that are grown in different regions of the world. These plants are now valued medicinally as well as ornamentally. They are being cultivated for their beautiful blooms that make for excellent alternatives to traditional roses.
What do Ginger Flowers Symbolize?
The ginger plant is an extremely versatile plant valued for its medicinal properties as well as for its significant meanings. Apart from being a highly traded spice, the flowers of the ginger plant are used in ornamental floral decorations and garlands. The bright and vivid blossoms of the ginger plant come in a range of shades of white, yellow, pink, and red. The ginger flower meanings come from the deep and rich hues of the plant’s blossoms.
Ginger flowers are captivating. It is their beauty and elegance that are admired. The ginger flower meaning depends on the color of the flower. The flowers symbolize deep emotions, feelings, and affection. The color white of the ginger flower is associated with truth, while shades of deep red symbolize deep love and passion. These sweetly scented and elegant floral blooms are used to celebrate matters of the heart. They are also symbolic of deep strength, courage, passion, and the prosperity of spirit.
Ginger Flower Colours and Meanings
Ginger flower meanings are significant. These brightly-hued flowers symbolize strong human emotions and feelings. Ginger flower meanings are associated with strength. The flowers symbolize the strength of love or affection, the strength of prosperity, or the strength and resilience of individuals.
White Ginger Flower Meaning
White ginger flowers are symbolic of pure and true love. They are said to represent matters of the heart. White ginger flower meanings of purity of the heart and the strength of love make these flowers a beautiful symbol of romance.
The Hedychium Coronarium found in the Himalayan regions of the Indian subcontinent is a lovely white ginger flower blossom that is said to represent true love and affection between people. The flower is symbolic of the deep and powerful love shared between individuals. White ginger flowers are often substituted for roses in romantic bouquets. White ginger flowers are also popular in Hawaii where they are used to make traditional leis (garlands) to be worn during cultural events.
Red Ginger Flower Meaning
The bright red hues of the ginger flower are a powerful symbol of fiery and passionate love. These flowers are symbolic of the deep and passionate love shared between lovers or couples. These flowers are cultivated both during the summer and winter months. They make for the perfect romantic gesture to be given or presented to a lover.
The Alpinia Purpurata is a bright red ginger bloom popularly found in Malaysia. These deep red flowers represent fierce and passionate love. Red ginger lilies also signify strength. They embody the deep inner strength, passion, and prosperity of the individuals they are presented to.
Yellow Ginger Flower Meaning
The yellow ginger flower meaning is associated with cheerfulness, happiness, and good luck. The Hedychium Flavescens is a variety of bright yellow ginger flowers native to Vietnam and the Himalayan Region of India. Also known as the cream garland lily, this yellow ginger flower is said to represent good luck and prosperity.
Interesting Facts and Characteristics of the Ginger Flower
The ginger plant is more popular for its spice root than for its flowers. Traditionally, ginger, along with pepper, has been a valuable commodity of trade between Asian and European countries since the 13th and 14th centuries. Their values were comparable to that of gold! While the spice trade continues to prosper and newer hybrid varieties of the ginger plant are cultivated, the ornamental value of the plant’s flowers is also being recognized.
Ginger roots are rich in antioxidants! The spice is ground, powdered, or boiled to make teas and concoctions for medicinal uses. The spice is said to aid in alleviating symptoms of nausea, indigestions, upset stomachs, colds, fevers, and asthma. The leaves of the ginger plant are used in the treatment of arthritis, sore throats, sprains and muscle cramps, constipation, hypertension, and dementia. The spice is a versatile commodity that is also used in the preservation of food items. The oils from ginger are extracted to make essential oils or to add to food and drinks. Candied ginger roots are a popular sweet.
Sweet-scented ginger flowers are popularly used to extract fragrant oils. The cold-pressed essential oils from some species of ginger flowers are sweet and fragrant. These are used in making perfumes and lotions.
In Samoa, the red ginger lily is commonly known as the Pink Cone Ginger or the Ostrich Plume. This is the national flower of Samoa where it is popularly known as the “Teuila”. The Teuila flowers symbolize fiery passion and strong love. Since 1991, an annual festival is held in the island nation to celebrate the blossoming of the Teuila. It has grown to become one of the largest cultural festivals of the Pacific.
Best Time to Gift Someone Ginger Flowers
Ginger flowers are an ideal gift to celebrate romantic occasions and matters of the heart. Ginger flower meanings are symbols of strength, romance, passion, affection, and the love that is shared between individuals. These sweet-smelling elegant blossoms are bound to freshen and lighten up any environment.
The flowers are an excellent addition to romantic floral gifts or bouquets. In fact, ginger lilies are the new substitute for traditional roses as a symbol of true love. These flowers are now added to floral bouquets to be presented to your loved ones. The flowers are now cultivated throughout the year, making these blossoms available for ornamental and commercial uses. The best occasions to present these flowers are engagements, anniversaries and celebrations of relationship milestones, declarations of love and romantic gestures, and to appreciate the deep strength of the bond shared between individuals.