Alpinia zerumbet, commonly known as shell ginger, is a perennial species of ginger native to East Asia. They can grow up to 8 to 10 ft tall and bear colorful funnel-shaped flowers. Their leaves are used in cuisine and traditional medicine.
Alpinia zerumbet, commonly called shell ginger is native to eastern Asia. It is a rhizomatous, evergreen perennial that grows in upright clumps to 8-10’ tall. It more typically reaches 4-8’ tall in the greenhouse and 3-4’ tall as a houseplant. It is commonly called shell ginger because its individual shell pink flowers, particularly when in bud, resemble sea shells and its rhizomes have a ginger-like aroma. It is distinguished from other members of the ginger family by the fact that its flowers droop from the ends of leafy stems rather than rise directly from plant rhizomes. Waxy, light pink flower buds open to tubular flowers with yellow inside lips and red throats. Flowers are fragrant. Flowers appear in drooping racemes (to 1’ long) in summer. Lance-shaped green leaves to 2’ long and 5” wide.