Kew, Crepe ginger, cheilocostus speciosus

Kew or Crepe ginger (cheilocostus speciosus, family: zingiberaceae) is a rhizomatous annual or perennial shrub, attaining a height of 2 to 4 m, with clump-forming stems. It is found almost everywhere in Bangladesh. It usually grows well in damp places. The plant itself a beautiful one. The gardeners of the country cultivate this plant for its clean white large flowers.

Leaves are stalkless, downy, entire, big in size (18-24 cm), leathery, ovate-elliptical, about 10-20 cm long.

Flowers are short-lived, very showy, trumpet-shaped, pure white in color, and have round yellow mark in the centre. Each flower is half-covered by brilliant red bract. The flowers begin to blossom at the end of the monsoon. 

Fruit is a capsule. Mature or dry fruits are brown or reddish. Propagation of the good-looking plant is caused by seed or division of rhizomes. 

Stem is used in heart disease, leprosy, rheumatism and fever. Its root is used to boost energy and sexual power. Root is also used to eliminate worm infection.