Family: Zingiberaceae

Latin name: Renealmia spp.

Vernacular name: Mishqui panga

In quechua dialect, “mishqui” means tasty and “panga” leaf. Indeed, the leaves are used for authentic “patarashca”, which is fish that is roasted while wrapped in mishqui panga. The leaves flavor the fish. The ripe fruits produce a purple dye that is used for dying fibres of plants species such as Astrocaryum that are used in weaving. This dye even serves as ink for writing and the skin. The root also makes a yellow-orange dye.

Mishqui panga is a herbaceous monocot that grows in humid conditions and prefers fertile soils. Some species can have large leaf sheaths and grow to over two meters in height, forming clusters. If it fails to regenerate in a garden, it is easy to cultivate.