Plant ID forum: Looking for a positive ginger ID please?

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Name: Kristi
east Texas pineywoods (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 2
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pod
Jul 5, 2014 8:44 PM CST
When I purchased this ginger, it was represented as edible ginger.

In the past I've grown grocery store ginger and this plant was similar in form. After having grown this plant for a couple of years now, I am curious as to what type of ginger it might be.

I had it in a container where it became root bound. I decided to divide and plant it in a raised bed. I found the roots had never developed the ginger palms.

The plant is small, only 12 inches tall. The foliage is incredibly fragrant when you brush against it.

When I divided and replanted I took two stems and leaves, chopped and brewed to see what type of tea it would make. The tea had a delightful rosy color but the aroma was too weak after brewing.

This got me to wondering exactly what ginger I do have
Thumb of 2014-07-06/pod/a8088c


Thumb of 2014-07-06/pod/4c8fa7
This third photo is of the roots (no rhizomes) but was not the best photo for clarity.


Thumb of 2014-07-06/pod/da9003

Hoping someone can provide some suggestions on this odd little ginger. Thanks ~ Kristi
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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plantladylin
Jul 5, 2014 8:50 PM CST
I wonder if it could be Cinnamon Ginger (Alpinia nutans)
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Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Jul 5, 2014 8:56 PM CST
Look at Alpinia nutans (on All Things Plants it's called Cinnamon Ginger (Alpinia nutans) to see if it's what you have.
Started with 6 plants and keep dividing - over 100 plants now.
I know it's edible but I haven't eaten any yet. I just love the smell of the leaves; remind me of old-timey candy from way back when.
Thumb of 2014-07-06/greene/9d08c3

Sorry, I was typing and someone already posted an answer.

Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
[Last edited by greene - Jul 5, 2014 8:56 PM (+)]
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Name: Kristi
east Texas pineywoods (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 2
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pod
Jul 5, 2014 9:27 PM CST
Thanks to you both, I will research that suggestion.

The foliage on mine is still small but may be stunted from being container grown.

Those are outstanding blooms on the Alpinia nutans. I will have to watch for blooms.

This plants' leaf structure and growth resembles my butterfly ginger Hedychium coronarium in an upright posture. Does Aplinia nutans become more sprawling with age?

I've grown three different gingers but none with fragrant foliage. Is that the primary indicator that makes you both ID it as the same plant?
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Procrastinator Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
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plantladylin
Jul 6, 2014 12:02 PM CST
Mine was just a "I wonder if" guess ... I don't know Gingers at all.
~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Procrastinator Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
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plantladylin
Jul 6, 2014 12:04 PM CST
Kristi: I'll go over to the Fla. gardening forum and post a link back here ... many Florida folks grow gingers and I bet someone will be able to offer suggestions.
~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
Name: Kristi
east Texas pineywoods (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 2
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pod
Jul 6, 2014 3:05 PM CST
Thanks for your response and assistance. I shall have to wait and see if this ginger will grow and bloom now that it is in the ground. I intend to pot up a portion of it in the fall just in case we have a hard winter. I would like to insure that I keep this plant going.

Now, you both have made me think I may need to go in search of an Alpinia nutans just because it is gorgeous and sounds like it smells wonderful.
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
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dyzzypyxxy
Jul 6, 2014 4:54 PM CST
I grow lots of gingers, but don't have that one. Best way to surely ID it is to wait until it blooms and compare the flowers.

Most gingers like a little bit of sun (morning or evening) or good filtered light and lots of fert and water to bloom, btw. Keep us posted? I think I'm going to look for Alpinia nutans, too!
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
[Last edited by dyzzypyxxy - Jul 6, 2014 4:55 PM (+)]
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Name: Kristi
east Texas pineywoods (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 2
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pod
Jul 6, 2014 7:26 PM CST
Thank you for stopping by... I appreciate the growth information and hope I can extort a bloom out of it.

I read on a link this afternoon that the Alpinia nutans is not edible. I thought oops! Maybe I shouldn't have tried the tea from this one either. But I'm still kicking. Green Grin!
Name: Jay
Nederland, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Region: Gulf Coast Charter ATP Member I helped beta test the first seed swap I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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Horntoad
Jul 6, 2014 7:49 PM CST
Alpinias bloom on second year growth, so if gets frost damage it will not bloom.
wildflowersoftexas.com
texasnatureonline.com


Name: Kristi
east Texas pineywoods (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 2
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pod
Jul 6, 2014 8:24 PM CST
Thank you Jay. I had read that is how they bloom. Although the blooms may have been inhibited by the container, this plant is older than two years and I've seen no blooms yet.

I don't think this plant ( or Alpinia nutans ) will do very well in ground in my zone due to our winters. It just needed to get out of the container it was in and I had a spot in a raised bed to pop it in. If it grows large, I will not want it in that location for long.

Thanks again for your input. Kristi

JC/NYC (Zone 7b)
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skylark
Aug 16, 2014 5:19 PM CST
have a look at floridata entry for common edible ginger (zingiber officinale):
http://www.floridata.com/ref/z/zing_off.cfm
it seems to me your leaves look very similar. if you google for the name you can find lots of info on growth, even in pots.
there is another edible ginger: galangal ( Alpinia galangal/Alpinia officinarum) used in thai/asian cuisine. it is taller then common ginger.
this link has a pic of flower also and info on growing too.
http://www.mynicegarden.com/2012/08/how-to-grow-galangal-alp...
Name: Kristi
east Texas pineywoods (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 2
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pod
Aug 16, 2014 8:28 PM CST
Thank you Skylark. Those are some nice links you shared. I have always loved the Floridata site. I agree the foliage looks very similar to the Zingiber officinale or common ginger. The fragrance is definitely ginger also.

Even after planting them in the ground for the summer, these plants are lucky to be 12 to 14 inches tall. Both the ginger and galangal appear to grow much taller. The roots are small and similar to the Galangal. Does anyone know what fragrance Galangal foliage has?

I am glad to see this ID quest surface again. I was looking at this plant last night and still wondering what I have. Thanks, Kristi
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Rabbit Keeper Critters Allowed Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages
Herbs Region: Georgia Region: United States of America Native Plants and Wildflowers Dog Lover Composter
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greene
Aug 16, 2014 9:13 PM CST
There is another plant called Alpinia mutica/False Cardamom Ginger which also has fragrant leaves; it is taller than the plant I have.
This link shows many types of ginger plants.

http://www.bambooland.com.au/gingers

By the way, if anyone needs or wants Alpinia nutans I have a ton of it and it could stand to be thinned. I have sent it in the mail 3 times and it travels well. Makes a great border or high ground cover. It will die back to the ground when the weather gets cold but if mulched it will come back in the spring. It is my understanding that, yes, it will bloom only on second year growth but that it rarely actually blooms - and the blooms will most likely be hiding under the foliage. Most people grow this type for the look and aroma of the foliage. The Alpinia nutans leaves can be used to flavor rice as it is steaming, or the leaves can be used to wrap food to impart flavor to the food as it cooks, or the leaves can be used to make tea. So in that sense it is an edible plant.

One edible rhizome ginger is the Alpinia galanga which can grow 5 - 8 meters tall.
Here are some photos send by my Plant Sister in southeast Asia.

Entire plant (Please ignore the tiny plant on the right in the photo; it is a palm seedling that tagged along. Rolling on the floor laughing )


Freshly dug rhizome.
Thumb of 2014-08-17/greene/60ae0d

Cleaned and ready for cooking.


Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
[Last edited by greene - Aug 17, 2014 8:25 PM (+)]
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JC/NYC (Zone 7b)
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skylark
Aug 17, 2014 5:16 PM CST
well, kristi, you need to remember that conditions in south-east asia are very steamy with 95% humidity, lots of rain and soil temps are prolly at 95F too.
in those conditions the plants just grow like crazy.
perhaps in so fl it grows faster and bigger then where you are?
i see if i can find a better 'ginger growing site' for you with pics.
Name: Kristi
east Texas pineywoods (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 2
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pod
Aug 18, 2014 8:09 PM CST
Thanks for the photos Greene. I was wondering about that plant and your photos are better than a description.

Skylark, it probably doesn't last as long as Florida but we endure many 90 to 100 degree days in the summer with humidity in that same range. 96 degrees today with oppressive humidity.

If you do find anymore ginger information, I will be glad to look at it. I love
all the different sites and get lost wandering through them. Thanks...

I thought this summer in the ground might cause the plant to develop. Rather like fish that remain one size according to their aquarium and when moved to a larger environment, they actually grow larger.

I really should take a current photo to compare but the only difference I notice is the leaves are healthier. In a container, the plant was root
bound and nutrient deprived.

It won't be long before I dig up a division and pot it to overwinter it in the greenhouse. I am only doing that so as not to lose the plant to a hard winter.

Now, off to Bambooland...
Name: Jean
Prairieville, LA (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier The WITWIT Badge Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Moonhowl
Aug 18, 2014 8:09 PM CST
Perhaps this link will be of use to you, Kristie.

http://www.gingerwoodnursery.com/index.php?option=com_phocag...
Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Xeriscape Organic Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level
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flaflwrgrl
Aug 18, 2014 8:39 PM CST
@dyzzypyxxy
Elaine, can you add anything to this conversation?

Elaine has gingers of various kinds, so I've called here here to see if she can shed some light on the situation.
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
~~ Sharon Brown ~~



Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Aug 18, 2014 8:56 PM CST
Thanks, Ann. I don't grow any of the edible gingers, but a thought I had as to why Kristi's aren't growing very much is maybe they need more water? All my gingers grow much MUCH bigger and better with ample water. I even had some sitting in a tub waiting to be transplanted, it rained then I turned my back on them for a couple of days and when I came back I swear they'd all grown nearly a foot sitting in 5in. of muddy water!

If you can post a recent picture, Kristi, that would help a lot, but until your plant blooms it's going to be tough to pin down an ID for you. You can leave them outside growing until the nights are consistently getting down to about 50.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Xeriscape Organic Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level
Butterflies Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Region: Florida Dog Lover Birds
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flaflwrgrl
Aug 18, 2014 8:59 PM CST
Thanks Elaine. Thumbs up
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
~~ Sharon Brown ~~



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