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Alpinia purpurata


Red Ginger, Jungle Queen, Jungle King, Opuhi Uteute, Gengibre Rojo, Tahitian Ginger, Ostrich Plume

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae (from Stearn’s Botanical Latin)
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassLiliopsidaMonocots (plants with a single seed leaf); includes the lily family
SubclassZingiberidaeGingers and related plants
OrderZingiberalesginger, cardamom, turmeric, galangal, myoga, bananas, arrowroot, and others
FamilyZingiberaceaeGinger family
GenusAlpiniaShell gingers
SpeciespurpurataMade purple

About plant names...

This very showy flower appears in red (“jungle king”) and pink (“jungle queen”). Red ginger is native to New Caledonia, New Hebrides, Yap, British Solomon Islands Protectorate, Bismark Archipelago, and Bougainville. It was introduced to Hawai‘i prior to 1930, where it is now naturalized. In Hawai‘ian, red ginger is known as ‘awapuhi ‘ula‘ula.

Identification: Leaves are oblong, large, and shiny, on cane-like stems; plants can reach 9' (2.7 m) in height. The bright red or pink flower stalks, up to 12" (30 cm) long, are actually bracts—the plant produces inconspicuous white flowers.

Online References:

Alpinia purpurata on Forest and Kim Starr’s Starr Environmental site

Alpinia purpurata on the USDA Plants Database (PDF)

Alpinia purpurata on Dr. Giuseppe Mazza's PhotoMazza.com site

Alpinia purpurata on CalPhotos

Alpinia purpurata on Hawaiian Plants and Tropical Flowers

Alpinia purpurata at the National Tropical Botanical Garden

Alpinia purpurata at the University of Hawai‘i’s College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources at Mānoa (PDF)

Alpinia purpurata description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 16 Aug 2013.

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Alpinia purpurata (Red Ginger, Jungle Queen, Jungle King, Opuhi Uteute, Gengibre Rojo, Tahitian Ginger, Ostrich Plume)

3/15/2001 · Hawaii Botanical Gardens, HI