I had lined up a series of blogs based on my recent trip to Varanasi ( alias Benaras & Kashi) and I hope you have read them which commenced with BLISS in KASHI.
However am breaking the continuity ( in a way) as a series of events elapsed and I find myself posting this blog based on a wonderful plant I saw in Pune many months ago.
This is the Red Ginger, Jungle King or Ostrich Plume ( English) plant , Alpinia purpurata (Scientific name) the origins of which lie in the Malay peninsula in South East Asia.
Kashi is a wonderful ancient city and the River Banks or Ghats are splashed in the auspicious colours of Haldi ( Yellow) and Kumkum (Vermillion).( watch out for the blogs still to follow)
Turmeric ( English) or Haldi (Hindi) is now recognized worldwide as a wonder or miracle Spice and imparts the colour yellow to Indian curries and cuisines besides occupying a prominent place during Hindu Religious ceremonies.
Red Ginger and Turmeric both belong to the Ginger family Zingiberacea and thus the wonderful and elaborate Red Inflorescence you see below are similar in both Plants.
The attractive Red bracts making the bouquet are in fact faux flowers .The real flower has wilted and is seen as a clump of brown weed on the top in the picture below.
The connection that ties the National Flower of Samoa , the wonderful antiseptic and healing properties of Turmeric and Varanasi was a documentary on the importance of Haldi I saw last night in which I briefly spotted turmeric flowers which ignited a memory cell of having seen similar flowers.
On checking out pictures of an earlier trip to Pune I saw the pictures of Turmeric like flowers of the Red Ginger plant which I am now sharing above through this post.
While most in India have perhaps consumed or applied the miraculous Turmeric in one form or the other , very few would recognize the cone like Enchanting flowers of the family.