Fragrant Spicy Flowers

We grow some semi-tropical plants in our warm sheltered micro-climate around the house, like the bananas you have seen recently. Here are two more: Galangal,  a relative of Ginger, the rhizome of which is used in SE Asian cooking, and Turmeric, an amazing yellow root used for cooking and for its powerful medicinal qualities. The Galangal has long stems and flowers like ginger, fragrant and delicate.

Galangal flower

Turmeric is more mysterious, disappearing underground through winter after flowering, then shooting back with a tightly furled spear late in spring. We dig the roots in winter, taking what we need and leaving the others to shoot. Cooking with fresh tumeric is fun, everything becomes stained temporarily with its bright orangey-yellow hue. We use it often, as it is a very effective anti-inflammatory. To photograph the turmeric flowers I had to climb under the orange tree that grows beside it, where I could gain an ‘inside’ view, and show you a hint of its complex beauty.

Turmeric flowers

These simple things, so wonderful!

16 thoughts on “Fragrant Spicy Flowers

  1. Christine, are you cataloging your photos in some system that makes sense to you? You are an amazing very “natural” nature photographer. You could have your own book on Australian nature creatures and plants someday if you wanted to.

    • dear sue, you are full of praise, i love to hear from you … and perhaps I should try to be more orderly! I will listen and learn from you! It is such a pleasure and my new camera is an enormous help 🙂 Bless you!

      • Hi Christine,
        I surely don’t mean for you to be orderly! You are perfect just the way you are. I know for me catagorizing my amateur photos (lovely though they may be), has been a constant challenge for me! I have this “someday” dream to get better at digital techy stuff and make cards with scripture….yet that time seems not here yet. I see, for you, so many possibilities for you, if you were so inclined to make art with your photos. But you know what? Taking the photos for your own pure pleasure & graciously sharing with us lucky ones on your blog is a top ARTISTIC endeavor, for which I Am most grateful. You now know you have lots of us waiting for our daily excursion with you in Australia.

  2. So beautiful, I’ve never seen galangal growing but it does look like ginger (also quite hard to grow here) the Tumeric is stunning when you click to look at it bigger, what a complex arrangement of petals, I find that fascinating, like a puzzle created by nature for insects to solve 🙂

    • a very creative thought, gilly … I wonder how it fits into the natural environment where it evolved …. it certainly likes shelter in our garden so i doubt many insects find it …although i guess ants might….. do you think the flower looks a little like bromeliads … although the leaves are more like aspidistras?

  3. Your blog is highlight of my day! The wonders in your world seem never ending. I’m glad to hear about tumeric and its benefits. I wonder how first landers found this out? So beautiful and healthy!

  4. I grew Tumeric last year, and got a few roots, I’ve tried to over winter them but they look rather dead to me!! So it’s lovely to see your plants as they should look 🙂 Oh dear, back to the drawing board!

  5. We use turmeric extensively in Indian cooking and I am ashamed to say I had no idea what the flowers looked like! The leaves are used to wrap some traditional dumplings for steaming, but have never seen the blooms! Thanks for educating me!

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