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Alpinia to Zingiber – Zingiberales in commercial floriculture

Criley, R. A.
Acta horticulturae 2015 no.1104 pp. 435-454
Alpinia, Costaceae, Heliconia, Marantaceae, Musa, Strelitzia, Zingiber, breeding, cut flowers, floriculture, flowers, greenhouse production, introduced species, temperate zones, temperature, trade
Famous cut flowers have been contributed to commercial floriculture from all parts of the world. Many were illustrated in ancient art. Centuries of breeding and selection, transport in commerce and exploration, and developments in cultivation have disguised the exact origins of many species. The largely tropical order, Zingiberales, has contributed many exotics, but in most families breeding efforts have lagged, and requirements for warm growing temperatures have limited cultivation. In addition, the large size of many species in the Costaceae, Heliconiaceae, and Zingiberaceae families has meant greenhouse cultivation is impractical in the temperate climates. Thus, research that could promote the development of many species has been slower than for more manageable temperate flowers. This review focuses on research with a variety of species that the author and others have conducted and highlights some future directions and challenges. In addition to Alpinia and Zingiber, other gingers, Heliconia, ornamental Musa, some Marantaceae and Strelitzia are reviewed.