I took myself off to the Ginger Factory at Yandina on the Australia Day Holiday. Mainly because I thought the Ginger festival was on; not that I am all that keen on crowds but I was at a loose end and wanted to find out the name of this beautiful red flower I recently spotted growing on the outskirts of Nambour. I suspected it was one of the ginger family but wanted to know whether I was right and what its name is. As it turned out, the festival had been on the previous weekend (note to self: check dates before going to events).
Despite that, I was not disappointed, although I probably missed out on some spectacular plants that were timed to flower for the Festival. During a wander around the beautiful gardens at the Factory, I found out its name is Red Tower or costus comosus and is a native of Costa Rica. Other sources indicate it is a cousin of ginger and you can eat the petals of some of the varieties.
There is a large pavillion there where you can buy lunch and I tried the wedges with ginger aoli which had been recommended by a friend and, again, not disappointed. The bowl was so big, I was unable to finish them unfortunately. I did buy some ginger dip in the retail section as I was leaving that can be combined with mayo to make a similar dressing. I also enjoyed the ginger jubes and dark chocolate covered preserved ginger I bought.
There is a railway line that rings the factory grounds which children love and takes you on a tour to (and past) quite a few little shops called Ginger Town with interesting things to buy.
This time I decided not to ride but have done so in the past, contenting myself with a wander through the well maintained gardens instead. It is free entry to the Factory but you then have to pay for rides and tours. Read all about the place here.
This is a gold dragon ginger all potted up and ready for sale but I resisted. I have brown fingers at the moment, not green.
These gorgeous red honeycomb ginger flowers caught my eye. They are true ginger or zingiber and come in a variety of colours including the yellow or is it orange below?
Love those sweet little flowers peaking out of the "comb".
Another ginger cousin is this pink Indian Head or costus spiralis and I watched a You tube video which tells us that when the flower dies, it generates another plant with roots on the cane which gradually droops to the ground where the roots, well, take root! Voila! New plant.
I thought this very Australian tiled path I found (I know, it wasn't lost) on the walk was delightful.
Another potted beauty which I snapped purely for the colour of the flower, neglecting to get the name. Possibly called Burgundy Ice, which I found here.
Here is a collage of other flowers found along the way. Mostly heliconias including my favourite, heliconia pendula (top left), but others which were just as colourful. Loved the yellow flowers on the lagoon.
I even found some wildlife. I disturbed this dragon which ran off into the undergrowth.
All in all, I enjoyed my short visit. No doubt my little outing would have been more enjoyable with a friend (who could have helped finish the wedges) but I would definitely recommend the Ginger Factory to anyone visiting the area.