Sunday, May 15, 2011

shell ginger

This gorgeous Shell Ginger is planted along the sidewalk on the way to school. It is so much of what I love about Florida - it is fragrant, exotic, unexpected -  the flowers are heavy and thick and waxy feeling, not at all delicate. It is unbelievably beautiful and over-the-top.

It is apparently also a medicinal plant. According to Wikipedia:
Its leaves are sold as herbal tea and are also used to flavor noodles and wrap rice cakes. Its tea has hypotensive, diuretic and antiulcerogenic properties. Decoction of leaves has been used during bathing to alleviate fevers. The leaves and rhizomes have been proven effective against HIV-I integrase and neuraminidase enzymes.

So not only beautiful, but very useful, too.

The kid is a little shy of the plant, as it is a prime bee-attracter. But I can't help staring.
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