(Photo credit: Vicky Lim Yen Ngoh)
One of Singapore’s native gingers, the Aquatic Ginger (Alpinia aquatica) is a Critically Endangered species that grows in sandy beaches and swamp forests. It is a herb that consists of a horizontally growing stem (rhizome) from which several "shoots" arise. Growing up to 2 m tall each, these shoots are the leaf sheaths of consecutive, alternate leaves wrapped around each other. As this plant contain aromatic oils, it exudes a fragrance when parts of it are crushed.
The Aquatic Ginger is one species that is salvaged and reintroduced into our urban green spaces, for example, as part of the planting palette of some Nature Ways lining our streets. Its flowers are pollinated by bees and the fruits are eaten by birds. It is also the host plant for the Chocolate Demon butterfly (Ancistroides nigrita maura).
This species prefers moist or waterlogged loamy soil. It can be propagated by seed or division of the rhizome.
Learn more about this plant here. You can also find out more about gingers through our videos All About Gingers and Conservation of Gingers in Singapore Botanic Gardens.
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