Beehive Ginger Facts

Zingiber spectabile is a clumping herbaceous plant with branched underground fleshy rhizome. The plant is commonly known in the West by the common name “beehive ginger”, due to its unusual inflorescences which resemble a skep beehive. It is also referred to by the common names “Ginger wort” or “Malaysian ginger”. Stunning ornamental plants, beehive ginger plants are cultivated for their exotic appearance and range of colors. Beehive ginger plants (Zingiber spectabilis) are named for their distinct floral form that resembles a small beehive. Zingiber spectabile is a species of true ginger, native to Maritime Southeast Asia. It is primarily grown in the West as an ornamental plant, although it has been used in South-East Asia as a medicinal herb. All parts of the plant have a strong gingery fragrance.

Name Beehive Ginger
Scientific Name Zingiber spectabile
Native Zingiber spectabile
Common/English Name Beehive Ginger, Black Gingerwort, Champagne Beehive, Malaysian Ginger, Nodding Ginger, Ginger wort
Name in Other Languages German : Ansehnlicher Ingwer, Nickender Ingwer
Malaysia : Tepus Tanah, Tepus Tundok, Chadak, Tepai, Tepus Halia, Tepus Haliya Puar, Langkinang (Temuan Orang Asli)
Portuguese : Gengibre-magnífi co, Sorvetão
Spanish : Microfono
Thai : Changoe, Dakngoe
Plant Growth Habit Clumping herbaceous plant
Growing Climate Warm and wet tropical rainforest, occurring along trails, streams and edges of forests up to 1000 m elevation. Thrives in full shade to partial shade.
Soil Moist, humus-rich, well-drained fertile soil.
Plant Size 4.5 metres (15 ft ), or even more
Stem Stems can be up to 3 meters tall
Leaf Leaf sheath is sparsely pilose with scarious margin, and ligule is deeply bi lobed and is broad and pale green in color. Leaf lamina is lanceolate and is 30–50 cm by 6–10 cm long and glabrous or slightly hairy at the base.
Flower Cylindrical spike, beehive like, 10–30 cm by 6–7 cm long with rounded apex borne by a radical erect scape, which is 20–40 cm long. Bracts are obovate, turning red from yellow through orange, fleshy and curved outwards with edge incurved forming pouches; bracteole is linear and 40 mm long; calyx is up to 35 mm long and cream to pinkish in color; corolla is 70 mm long and yellow in color; dorsal lobes are lager then lateral lobes; labellum is 40–60 mm long and dark purple with yellow spots; mid-lobe is shorter than lateral corolla lobes; apex is cleft; stylode is slender and free to base, not surrounding the style; stigma is not dilated, round, white in color and fringed with hairs; filament is absent; and anther is yellow, anther appendage is purple and 1.5 cm long.
Flowering Season July through November.
Fruit Ellipsoid capsule, 3 cm by 1 cm long and sparsely pilose.
Seed Seeds are up to six in each loculus, are black when ripe, are ellipsoid, are 6 mm long and covered 2/3 from base by a white aril with fimbriate or lobed edge.