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"Possibility and promise greet me each day as I walk out into my garden. My vigor is renewed when I breathe in the earthiness and feel the dirt between my fingers. My garden is a peaceful spot to refresh my soul." Meems

Welcome to my Central Florida Garden Blog where we garden combining Florida natives, Florida-Friendly plants, and tropicals.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Pinecone Ginger

Zingiber zerumbet, also widely known as "shampoo ginger" because of a liquid substance in the cones.

The pinecone-looking bracts are borne on separate stalks that show up each summer at the base of the plant.

The variety my sweet neighbor gave me a couple of years ago is the cultivar 'Darceyi' ... Zingiber zerumbet 'Darceyi'. With its green and creamy white edges, it will only grow to about 4 feet. It is a dwarf plant that suits my liking much more than the all green variety, Zingiber zerumbet, which can get 7-8 feet tall.

The foliage alone is pretty and delicate in its own right as it arches over lower lying plants at its feet. Around here I've dug it up and divided it each spring to make more plants and locate in more locations. It's happy in ample filtered sunlight.

The unique conelike stalks start out green and gradually turn to a bright red color shown in the first photo. They can be cut and used in fresh flower arrangements, too.

Gingers like the warmth and humidity of our climate. It is a no-fuss plant that requires no extra attention. I have located mine for texture and softness among natives of palmettos and live oaks.


  1. Well, what an unusual plant, to me. I have never seen such a thing. When I think of pinecones I think of spruce or pine trees etc. This is a new perspective of pinecones.

  2. Aren't they great? I featured Ms. Doris' not too long ago..we call them Pinecone Lilies

  3. The leaves remind me of Japanese Solomon's Seal, but the flower sure says gorgeous tropical! I imagine caladiums are the perfect foil to the ginger's red flower! gail

  4. OOOh Meems I love the smell of this ginger! Mine are in bloom still green though. I love to cut them and put them in vases around the house.You know there in a miniature and it is yellow. I don't have it as yet but plan to. I had a photo of them on my garden ramble sale flyer and many people came specially to get some.

    hugs to you

  5. Beautiful ginger! I saw a shampoo ginger in the aviary at the NC Zoo. It was yellow and shaped like ripe corn cobs.


  6. Yikes, is that a spam? What a cool plant. Probably not frost hardy though...

  7. My blogging friend Lola sent me some of these last year and I must say I adored them. They were almost to this point when a freeze came and did not return. She actually washed her hair with them-a neat plant!

  8. "Gingers like the warmth and humidity of our climate." -

    Exactly what I hate about our climate! lol.

  9. What a neat looking plant, I've never seen or heard of them before.

  10. Lisa,
    It almost reminds me of a magnolia pod, too. I DO love spruce and pine as well.

    Plants have so many common names. I'm happy this is the dwarf variety.

    You are aware caladiums add beauty to every setting. :-) Miss Muffets are sitting at the Ginger's feet.

    I keeping trying to split enough of these up that I don't mind cutting off the pretty stalks to bring inside. I'll take in one or two from the clumps I have around the garden but I like looking at them for as long as possible while still in the ground. Yours will be red in no time. *hugs*

    There are so many gingers to enjoy... I'm not familiar with the one you mention... but will be checking into it to see if it is one I should have on my wish list.

    Yes, it was and thanks... I didn't even see it until your comment alerted me. No, not at all frost hardy. As a matter of fact the foliage on this disappears each January and reappears as the soil warms.

    If Lola sees this maybe she can tell us how the actual shampoo thing works. Lola, where are you?


    So tropical don't you think?

  11. I don't have any, but I love how the "cones" add more intrest after they bloom.


  12. Hi Meems,
    Yes, I did use it as a shampoo as Tina stated. It left my hair soft & silky with a hint of ginger. I really liked how it did. I kept a flower in the shower so I could shampoo my hair with it. There is a lot of the thick liquid in a cone. The ladies of the islands where this grows only had this plant to shampoo their hair way back when. You must try it.
    I also put some in a vase & I liked the way that it left a gentle ginger smell in the room. Great for the kitchen or dining room.
    I have the large all green kind. It grows way over my head. I could hide in it if I wanted to. lol I've also dug a lot of it up as it spreads. I have also given a lot away & could give more away.

  13. They're such an interesting looking flower, arent they? Almost architectural in appearance!

  14. Very cool plant! Great photography as well!!

  15. Jake,
    Very cool each year to anticipate a plant producing this kind of interest.

    Thanks for adding your information on this... I am definitely going to try that shampoo. Sounds delightful... ginger is one of my favorite scents.

    I hadn't thought about it that way but I like your eye and perspective. The closest thing I have that comes to anything like these cones would be the way bromeliads shoot out bracts in unusual forms and shapes.

    Thank you. And thank you for stopping by.

  16. wow, these are so beautiful... they almost look liked waxed dipped. it is just so exotic. these would look so lovely in an arrangement or on a wreath. maybe i could persuade you to give me a few? or better yet make one of your beautiful arrangements for me. you have so many talents.
    i am glad your my sister...i get to experience them all.
    happy august.

  17. At the beginning of summer a friend thinned her pinecone ginger and gave me some. It has spread quite a bit, but I only have 2 of the pinecone shoots. Any idea why?? They are in shade part of the day with at least 3-3 hours of sun.

    Thanks for any ideas you have.

  18. Hi Siesta Sister,
    Mine also came from a friend. I have divided it and moved it but honestly mine doesn't spread very rapidly. Maybe I have mine in too little sun and maybe you have yours in too much sun???? It is not a plant I've done too much research on as I just stuck in the ground in similar conditions as my neighbor. Now that you mention it I don't get a profuse amount of bract stalks. I do LOVE them though when ... and they last so long.

  19. I,ve lived here in north fla. six yrs and have a pine comb ginger plant it went from one stalk to seven, i need to know how to start more,but don,t want to damage the one i have,i love it like my dogs.
    ha ha

  20. I found one growing in my yard! Do not know where it came from, but it is full bloom now(a red pine cone, it looks like). Hope to have more of them - Donna P - Ocala, FL

  21. have about 15 growing wild under my oak trees in 100 percent shade they are in full bloom right now. Really interesting plant,

  22. Can you please tell me how to transplant this beautiful flower? I have a large amount of it growing wild in the woods near my house & I would like to gather a little and bring it into my yard.

  23. Charlotte... this ginger is easy to transplant as it grows from an underground rhizome. Just dig underneath the foliage and loosen the rhizome. The entire plant should lift out. Move it where you desire. Here's a link that might be helpful...

  24. thank you! and the website was great too :)

  25. Are they edible like the other ginger?


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