One of the stems of a ginger in the office allotment got bent over as a result of the banana leaves’ swamping effect. Eventually it kinked and hung down like a cow’s tail.

I was able to prop it upright with a cane and whilst the stem was clearly compromised it didn’t seem to have caused withering damage.

With this ginger, everytime it throws up a new stem, the oldest one dies off. Thus, it was not surprising when the damaged stem started to die back. But then something unusual started to happen. A strange round, reddy-coloured nodule started to emerge from the stem. It was odd for a number of reasons:

  • It wasn’t near the site of the damage site (although it was above it) – sometimes plants do unusual things where they are damaged.
  • It wasn’t from a leaf axil – where plant growths often develop from.
  • And perhaps weirdest of all, it was actually from within the stem.

And I mean within – it actually split open. A bit like the monster emerging from John Hurt’s chest in Alien. It was a bit creepy.

As the stem deteriorated the nodule developed from a globe to a pointed shape reminiscent of one half of a lobster’s claw making it both creepy and surreal.

It’s still growing, and is clearly a new plant developing, but it is both beguiling and a touch unsettling at the same time. Especially as I can’t find a reference anywhere to the phenomenon.