Urban Spice

     In New Orleans, you’ll find all sorts of exotic plantings (at least to my mid-western sensibilities). Shrubs that I’ve only been acquainted with at three feet tall, grow into trees ( holly, hibiscus, hydrangea), and spices I have always purchased at the grocer are yawning over the sidewalks.
     Ginger plants are everywhere. I don’t particularly like the look of a ginger plant, (the large leaves shred too easily in high winds and look sloppy), but when you crush a frond in your hands they release a heavenly scent. The dried and pulverized roots (rhizomes) are what I have in my spice rack. And, in addition to the contribution they make to my pumpkin pie, they also produce a beautiful flower. 

Sugar and Spice- 
Ginger is so nice.
Variegated shell Ginger
Alpinia zerumbet

The flowers set with fronds

Roots (rhizomes) washed and ready for grating

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