Kaempferia pulchra mansonii - Gingers R Us
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Kaempferia Catalog : Kaempferia :

Kaempferia pulchra mansonii

Type: Rhizome

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Kaempferia pulchra mansonii - closeup This is one of the most commonly grown of the peacock gingers, and for good reason. It spreads quickly, has beautiful foliage and pretty little violet-colored flowers. Peacock ginger gets its name from the colorful patterns on the leaves of many Kaempferia species and cultivars. The silver and grey patterns on this one are exemplary of the genus.

The name of this plant is the subject of much debate among ginger collectors. Some list it as a separate species - Kaempferia mansonii - and some as a variety of Kaempferia pulchra. One of my Kaempferia specialist friends believes the correct nomenclature is Kaempferia pulchra 'Mason', without the "ii". He said it was first purchased by someone in England from a flower booth in the Philippines. He brought it over to England and from there it's been spread to the U.S. The man's last name was Mason. So the plant should be named after him, but it is not distinctively different enough from K. pulchra to be a separate species. It has been circulating around the U.S. at least since 1988, because it was listed then in the catalog of the original "Plumeria People" the Eggenbergers of Houston, Texas. They simply called it Kaempferia mansonii.

Now if you have not been totally bored yet and are still reading this, I'll tell you that this plant should be grown in shady conditions in rich, moist, organic soil. It is hardy in zone 8 and south, but it goes dormant in winter like all Kaempferias, even in warm tropical climates. The rhizomes should not be kept too wet during dormancy.

Another friend of mine in Maryland grows this plant indoors - I gave her some a couple of years ago. She insists that it has stayed green for her continuously without a dormancy period, and that it flowers continually, much like an African violet. We keep telling her to please let the poor plant have a rest.

Kaempferia pulchra mansonii

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