With Costa Rica being a haven for such a wide variety of inhabitants, and when I say inhabitants I mean not only our vast variance of four legged, slippery slithering, 8 legged crawling, winged creatures but also with no lesser importance, our variety of plants, trees and most importantly in this particular instance, flowers.
With such an abundance of flowers at our grasp, some known to many, and other not so known we at The Springs have decided to embark on a little project we like to call “flower of the week” where we will journey into the depths of our jungles, forests and mountains to bring you closer to this natural paradise that surrounds us. Along the way we will be providing you with information and pictures regarding our weekly finds. Now this is not only for “floral boffs” but also for those with a keen eye for beauty, those with a green finger or two, as well as anyone interested in the beautiful surroundings of Costa Rica and what it has to offer. Who knows you may just find your next bridal bouquet in and among our blog ladies.
To kick things off this week, we have The Emperor Staff or Etlingera Elatior
Etlingera elatior (also known as torch ginger, ginger flower, red ginger lily, torch lily, wild ginger, combrang, bunga kantan, philippine wax flower, xiang bao jiaing, indonesian tall ginger, boca de dragón, rose de porcelaine, porcelain rose) is a species of herbaceous. Botanical synonyms include nicolaia elatior, phaeomeria magnifica, nicolaia speciosa,phaeomeria speciosa, alpinia elatior, alpinia magnifica.
The showy pink flowers are used in decorative arrangements while the flower buds are an important ingredient in the nonya dish laksa. In north Sumatra, the flower buds are used for a dish called arsik ikan mas (andaliman/szechuan pepper spiced carp)
It is known in Indonesian as bunga kecombrang or honje, malay as bunga kantan and Thai as daalaa. In Thailand it is eaten in a kind of Thai salad preparation.
In karo, it is known as asam cekala (asam meaning ‘sour’), and the flower buds, but more importantly the ripe seed pods, which are packed with small black seeds, are an essential ingredient of the karo version of sayur asem, and are particularly suited to cooking fresh fish.
These particular beauties can be found in abundance down at our outdoor activity center Club Rio. Be sure to have a lookout next time you find yourself tubing or horseback riding, these flowers are most certainly a beauty to look at.
Until next week!