Project Description

Spiral Ginger

Cheilocostus speciosus, commonly known as spiral ginger or crepe ginger, is a member of the Costaceae family. It has spirally-arranged dark green leaves, is a tall and is an attractive plant than can reach a height of 3 m. It can be differentiated from common ginger plants due to the presence of a single row of spirally-arranged foliage. Its blooming season spans from the late summer months into early fall. Its unique flowers bloom simultaneously in clusters of 3-4 flowers from within red cone-shaped structures. These structures remain intact even after the blooming season has ended. These white flowers resemble crepe paper, from which one of its common name is derived.

Spiral ginger is native, to tropical Asia and Australia, the spiral ginger can be grown from rhizomes or portions of its stem. It is now found and has been naturalized in other tropical regions such as Hawaii, Costa Rica and French Polynesia. However, it has now become an invasive species in many of these nations. This plant is primarily used for ornamental and decorative purposes across the world. However, it is also used as a source of food and traditional medicine in some cultures. For instance, Southeast Asian cultures and Ayurveda traditional medicine have utilized the rhizome in treating dizziness, headaches, pain, and constipation, among other conditions.

Works Cited

Islands, T., Space, J. C., Flynn, T., Islands, C., Islands, S. C., Island, K., … & Balick, M. J. Cheilocostus speciosus.

Lim, T. K. (2014). Cheilocostus speciosus. In Edible Medicinal And Non-Medicinal Plants (pp. 712-725). Springer Netherlands.

Govaerts, R. (2013). Hellenia Retz., the correct name for Cheilocostus CD Specht (Costaceae). Phytotaxa, 151(1), 63-64.

Skinner, D. (2012, December 21). Costus speciosus. Retrieved March 19, 2015, from

Picture reference

Wikimedia Commons. (2009). Retrieved from