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Tapeinochilos ananassae (Hassk.) K.Schum.

Wax ginger, Indonesian wax ginger

ParentsUnknownGenus is not in the current taxonomy

About plant names...

Indonesian wax ginger is native to Malaysia, Indonesia, New Guinea, and Australia. It is not found in the wild in North America.

Identification: Plants are up to 8' (2.4 m) tall, with branched, bamboo-like stems. Leaves are oval shaped, 8-15" (20-38 cm) × 2-4" (5-10 cm), with smooth edges and pointed ends. They are medium green and glossy, hairless on top, fuzzy or hairless below, and arranged in a spiral pattern around the stems. Brilliant red pineapple-shaped flowerheads are composed of bracts (specialized leaves). The true flowers are small and orange-yellow in color, poking their relatively inconspicuous "heads" out between the red bracts like suspicious turtles.

Tapeinochilos ananassae (wax ginger, Indonesian wax ginger)

Yellow flowers emerging from red bracts. By Kurt Stüber.

Online References:

Hawaiian Plants and Tropical Flowers

Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants



Tapeinochilos teysmannianus Warb.

Costus ananassae Hassk.

Costus pungens Teijsm. & Binn.

Tapeinochilos australis K.Schum.

Tapeinochilos pungens (Teijsm. & Binn.) Miq.

Tapeinochilos pungens var. queenslandiae F.M.Bailey

Tapeinochilos pungens var. teysmannianus (Warb.) Valeton

Tapeinochilos queenslandiae (F.M.Bailey) K.Schum.


Tapeinochilos ananassae description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 25 May 2020.

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Tapeinochilos ananassae (wax ginger, Indonesian wax ginger)

3/2/2001 · Kula Botanical Garden, Maui, Hawaii ID is uncertain