Alpinia mutica is described by many common names: orchid ginger, small shell ginger, and false or dwarf cardamom. It is a Southeast Asian herbaceous perennial of the Zingiberaceae (ginger) family. It has no relationship with cardamom, but the large, glossy leaves emit a spicy scent when crushed, similar to green cardamom. The plant is used ornamentally as a lush understory filler, forming dense tufts reaching 1 to 2 m high and spanning 1 m. It can also be grown in containers of 35 L or more. In spring it produces beautiful long clusters of flowers—white and shell-shaped, with bright yellow and red-veined lips. Its numerous fruits are also attractive—orange-red and round with short hairs. In Malaysia, an infusion of the rhizome is used medicinally for abdominal ailments. Also, the leaves are edible and used as a spice to add flavor to steamed rice, to make tea, and to wrap fish.
Alpinia mutica is cold-tolerant to light frost, thrives in partial shade to full sun, and prefers rich, well-draining soil. USDA Zone is 10.
The tested germination rate is 29%, and germination instructions are included.
The packet is shipped via USPS First Class with tracking.