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Etlingera coccinea

Baku Tubu

A spectacular, large ginger with a creeping rhizome that gives rise to leafy shoots to 7 m (23 ft.) tall. Each shoot holds up to 30 large leaves that can grow to 110 cm (43 in.) long and 20 cm (8 in.) wide. The inflorescence opens at ground level and holds numerous, densely clustered, brilliant red flowers with yellow margins that are pollinated by small birds. Baku Tubu is widely distributed from the Malay Peninsula, Sumatra and Java to Borneo, where it grows in a variety of habitats, including secondary ones, between nearly sea level to about 1200 m (3900 ft.). It is often associated with human habitation. The fruits are edible and have an amazing oily seed, emanating a magnificent perfume. The fruit arils smell almost meaty, some liken them to cream of chicken soup with an undefined “spice” element, and the indigenous people already use them as a preferred condiment. It is a vigorous grower and in cultivation it should adapt to cool tropical and frost free warm temperate climates.

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If you wish to read more on palm cultivation, we highly recommend Ornamental Palm Horticulture by Timothy K. Broschat and Alan W. Meerow, available in our bookshop.

Ratings and comments reflect individual experiences and the views of our visitors. They do not necessarily describe the most appropriate methods, nor are they necessarily valid for all seeds or plants of this species. Germination and plant cultivation success depends on many different factors; nevertheless, these experiences will hopefully aid you in your effort to get the best germination results from our seeds and the best growth results from your plants.

We recommend:
The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms

The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms
by Robert Lee Riffle, Paul Craft, Scott Zona

2nd edition
Completely revised and updated

Hardcover - 528 pages
11 x 8.5 inches

Our rating:
Suitable for: all

The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms is the definitive account of all palms that can be grown for ornamental and economic use. Palms are often underutilized as a result of their unfamiliarity—even to tropical gardeners. To help introduce these valuable plants to a new audience, the authors have exhaustively documented every genus in the palm family.
825 species are described in detail, including cold hardiness, water needs, height, and any special requirements. Generously illustrated with more than 900 photos, including photos of several palm species that have never before appeared in a general encyclopedia, The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms is as valuable as an identification guide as it is a practical handbook. Interesting snippets of history, ethnobotany, and biology inform the text and make this a lively catalog of these remarkable plants.

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