Fiery Torch




 

While many species of flowering ginger can be found in the Hawaiian Islands, the most resplendent and regal of them all is the torch ginger. Growing to heights of up to 25-feet, the torch ginger is hard to miss with its fiery-red, wax-like “flower” that can grow to be up to 2-feet in height. This “flower” is actually a spectacular inflorescence, or flower-bearing part of the plant. The actual individual flowers appear between its scales known as floral bracts. Believed to have originated in Indonesia, the torch ginger now grows in many tropical areas of the world. In Hawai‘i, it flourishes in upcountry regions where plentiful rain showers are interspersed with periods of glorious sunshine. In addition to its exceptional beauty, the torch ginger produces essential oils that are high in vitamin A and filled with various antioxidant compounds used in traditional and alterative medicines. These oils are also used as natural flavor additives in a variety of foods and for fragrance in perfumes. The torch ginger is truly an exotic beauty with a variety of practical benefits as well.    

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