This species is endemic to Borneo in Indonesia and is the unique white ginger, ivory ginger, or ivory spike ginger, in the parlance of nurserymen. It grows to about 0.75 to 1 m in height, with dark green, ovate leaves, glabrous above and with fine silky hairs below. It has a pale reddish scape sheath, with an inflorescence about 7 to 8 cm. Its bracts are ivory white and the flowers orange. The white spike and the orange flower make this a very attractive garden plant and a favorite among the ginger lovers in the Western world. Under cultivation, the plant flowers profusely, making it a valuable pot plant (Theilade and Mood, 1997). It is also tolerant to freezing.
This is a Malaysian species, having oblong, glabrous leaves, a shortly peduncled cylindrical spike, and bright red, obovate, obtuse bracts. The tip of the bract is yellowish white and three lobed. It is a common ornamental plant. Zakaria and Ibrahim (1986) reported four phenolic compounds of the catechol and pyrogallol type, three flavanoids and terpenols in the volatile oil.
Z. gramineum Noronha
This plant is cultivated in United States gardens under the common name palm ginger. It is a thin-stemmed and narrow-leafed plant.
This species is being sold in the United States under the name Yellow Delight. This plant has symmetrical silvery stems and leaves, and produces yellow basal cones. It can produce either basal or terminal inflorescences. The spikes are yellow and long lasting, and it is used as a cut flower also. It has only recently come into cultivation in the United States and is a favorite of ginger lovers.
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