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Red and yellow Etlingera hemisphaerica flowers
etlingera hemisphaerica
Etlingera hemisphaerica

Native to Indonesia, it is a herbaceous perennial. It boasts erect stems that reach a height of about 8 feet, emanating from underground rhizomes. The flowers are borne on separate, shorter stems that also arise directly from the rhizomes. Cultivated primarily as an ornamental, this plant is also harvested from the wild for local culinary use. The flowers, specifically, are used as a condiment. Photographed in Minca, Colombia.

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