Botanical name: Kaempferia rotunda Family: Zingiberaceae (Ginger family)
The Hindi and Manipuri names for this flower mean flower of the earth, which comes from the fact that the flower emerges straight from the ground, even before the leaves appear. It is native to Southeast Asia and a member of the ginger family. There are an estimated fifty species of Kaempferia generally known as the "peacock gingers" for their colorful leaves. As if by magic flowers arise from bare ground. Bulbs that have laid dormant and leafless, hiding through winter, reappear. The blossoms arise from the rhizome one or two at a time, each lasts only two or three days, but the plant blooms for four to five weeks.The leaf development is amazing. The back of the leaf is purple, the front is green and patterned with silvery marks. They begin emerging toward the end of the flowering period. Tightly rolled, the leaves resemble purple spikes. When the leaf blade is free of the soil, a height of 10 inches or more, it unfurls like a banner.
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