Amongst all the greenery of tropical foliage, plants and palms, brilliant splashes of colour in contemporary Thai gardens can be provided by the Ginger plant family.
Consisting of 45 genera containing 700 species, the Gingers are a varied family. A popular strain of the Ginger family, one often utilised within Thai gardens, is the 'Red Ginger' (alpinia purpurata), less widely known as 'the Jungle King'.
Native to Malaysia, they are also widely recognised as the national flower of Samoa, and can be successfully cultivated in full sunshine or light shade. They prefer moist, well-drained soil, so require a fair amount of watering in hotter seasons in Thailand, but are generally pretty robust, and good at taking care of themselves.
Red Ginger have long, brightly coloured bracts, which are popularly used within flower arrangements; handy to have in the garden.