Also called scentless turmeric, hidden ginger is a small perennial with one of the showiest flowers of all Curcuma species. The flower spike is large and dense with pale flesh pink bracts that are highlighted with bright fuchsia pink tips. From inside these bracts the true flowers emerge, which are foxglove-shaped and a dazzling brick-red with white and yellow highlights. The plants are generally dormant from November through mid-spring, then create new foliage and flowers in late spring and summer. In India, where the plant is native, it is used to treat a variety of human health ailments.
As with most curcumas, hidden ginger grows best in partial shade -- too much sun will burn the foliage and too much deep shade will prohibit flowering. The plants should be situated in a rich, well-drained soil that receives regular watering during the growing season. When the plants go dormant, watering should be reduced; the rhizomes (underground stems) can rot if they are overwatered.
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