Kaempferia galanga – Kencur (plant)
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Kaempferia galanga or kencur rhizome is used in Asian styles of cooking as it is a member of the ginger family and has a soft, musk/pepper scent. It is also reported in Plants of the Gods as being used as an hallucinogen in Papua New Guinea, although there are no confirmed reports. Plants do not have stems and leaves arise and cover the ground horizontally. The flowers have an amazing orchid-like scent and even look like them.
Care and Cultivation of Kaempferia galanga
Kaempferia galanga likes a part shade position (50%) with rich soil and good drainage. Give regular applications of both liquid and solid fertiliser over summer. Likes a lot of root space, pot up regularly when you notice white roots coming out of the drainage holes. Leaves will die off in colder areas over winter, keep on the dry side at this time of year or alternatively, uproot the entire plant and dry store as rhizomes until warmer weather returns. We often find that they can simply rot away if left in the ground in our subtropical garden and that it is better to store them inside as rhizomes over winter.
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