|RENEALMIA EXALTATA - MASUSA.|
Masusa, renealmia, mardi grass, misquipanga, pacová-catinga, ink plant.
Zingerberaceae (Ginger family).
Masusa is a robust tropical perennial, growing up to 18' tall, with a creeping rhizome.
The green leaves are up to 3' long attached to a non-flowering stem.
The inflorescence is about 2' tall and reddish.
Masusa flowers in racemes, with pink to red bracts.
The fruits are red when young and blackish-violet when ripe; the numerous seeds are brownish, surrounded by orange-yellow fibers and a fatty substance (arrillus), that is used as a spice in the Surinam cuisine.
It is used to color (yellow) and flavor rice dishes.
Fruits yield a red-purple dye.
Ongoing research has identified bio-active labdane diterpenoids, [pacovatinins A-C] and diarylheptanoids [renealtins A and B], from Renealmia alpinia.
Masusa rhizome is used against snakebites (ethanol extract demonstrated in mice moderate - to full neutralizing effect of Bothrops atrox venom).
The purple-red juice from the berries is used to treat eye diseases.
USDA zone 9B - 11.
Seeds and rhizome.
Full sun / partial shade; regular watering, moist soil.
Plant in frost free spots.
It can be grown as a container plant in the cooler zones.