which ginger is edible?

bekados(z9a--NW FL)July 20, 2005

i'm sure this is answered somewhere in the archives...but must go to work...i have about 6 different varieties of ginger...just wondering if i might be able to eat any of them...

pinecone ginger

butterfly ginger

spiral ginger (that is refusing to grow! what could be wrong?)

and others...

i tried to grow store ginger and all it did was rot!

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
daveandlaura(8b-S. Louisiana)

The "store ginger" is Zingiber officinale. Turmeric is also a ginger (I can't put my finger on the Latin name, but it's either a Zingiber or Alpinia). There are several other edibles, too.

Here's a neat website I just found: http://www.foodsubs.com/Ginger.html


    Bookmark   July 20, 2005 at 4:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Turmeric is Curcuma longa (formerly known as C. domestica, and sometimes still called that). Cardamon comes from a species of Amomum, and galanga (Alpinia galanga) is used in S.E. Asian cooking. And of course there's Z. officinale.

There are probably others, but most of the ornamental varieties are not edible, including the ones you mention. In fact I almost wish someone would come up with another name for the family, because as soon as you say something is a ginger, most people seem to think that either a)you can cook with it, or b)the flowers must be fragrant. Most of the time, neither one is true.

The "spiral gingers" are not even true gingers, but species of Costus (family Costaceae). They are related, but generally don't have the "gingery" smell that characterizes the rhizomes of most members of the Zingiberaceae.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2005 at 3:44AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
TimChapman(Z8 Louisiana)

yes, the edible or fragrant thing comes up sooooo often. Just gave a lecture today, and its now part of all my talks to stress that there is no valid " all gingers ...." ie people tend to think all gingers like shade, or all gingers are fragrant, or all gingers are hardy, or all gingers aren't hardy etc. etc. Once people get over that initial disappoint and focus on the merits of each group things go well :-)

Tim Chapman

    Bookmark   July 21, 2005 at 9:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
sinner_gurl(LA z9& HUMID!)

I finally did get one of those store-bought gingers to grow. Got a nice firm large root. I put it in a plastic pot with well drained soil in sun, kept moist, and it took awhile to come up (a lot longer than I thought it would) but once it did it grows pretty fast. It is sorta plain green but interesting looking, and about 8 inches tall now. I just mostly wanted to see if I could do it and I do use ginger sometimes for asian cooking, so I guess in the future I will use it. It did get me interested in gingers though...:oh no, another plant obsession - lol

    Bookmark   July 29, 2005 at 10:44PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Since no one mentioned the spiral ginger I'll ask if you have it in a fairly shady spot. The spiral gingers that I have grow like mad in good shade, even in restricting pots, but will do zip in the sun. The other shade lover I have is the shampoo or pinecone gingers. All .... opps ;o) ... I mean most other gingers perfer some sun.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2005 at 3:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
stanhopea(10/24 CA)

The white butterfly ginger flowers are edible. I've only had them battered and deep-fried. They tasted like batter with a little fragrance.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2005 at 4:51PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I've heard that you can eat most of the costus (spiral ginger) flowers too. The true flowers, not the bracts, sprinkle them on a salad or whatever.

Haven't tried it myself, and that's not what most people mean when they say edible ginger, but there's lots of flowers that can be eaten as well as being pretty.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2005 at 4:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
coinfinder(Houston TX)

I bought some ginger to use in cooking late this past spring. I used some and left a half-palm sized piece out on a raised kitchen counter. After a month or so, I noticed a small sprout, like a potato eye just forming. After a week or two longer I could tell it was green, and after another week or two it grew to about a half inch high. I watched it get to about an inch. By that time, my wife was curious, and I suggested to her that she might get more ginger if she planted it.

She found a six-inch pot and put some really awful potting soil in it. Terrible stuff. Mostly sand and charcoal, I have no idea where she got that junk. Anyway, she planted the ginger just under the soil surface, and put the pot in bright shade near the kitchen door where we could watch it.

It took off. Sometimes we could tell a difference overnight (!!) It is now almost three feet tall and starting to send up a second shoot. I guess it's time to put it in the ground. But since I still don't know whether it prefers sun or shade, I think we'll have to move it around a little to find out.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2005 at 11:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Can you eat the White Hawaiian variety?

    Bookmark   September 18, 2007 at 9:18PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Heliconias in zone 9A?
I live in Barcelona (Spain) a Mediterranean zone similar...
book: Gingers of Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore?
Hello, I'm looking for information about torch ginger...
Hedychium didnt flower & developed brown leaves
Hi, I'm new to growing gingers and thought it would...
Who else is growing turmeric aka curcuma longa?
I bought a bunch from a ebay vender (Indian grocery...
sultry_jasmine_nights (Florida 9a)
Hilling edible ginger?
Thats what these guys say to do. Of course they are...
Sponsored Products
Townsend 31 1/2" High Outdoor Post Mount Light
Lamps Plus
Chintaly Boston Wide Corner Curio Cabinet - 6621-CUR
Artemide | LED Net Line 125 Suspension Light
Above Counter Copper Leaf Bathroom Sink
Bumblebee Style Cardinal Kazak Rug 4' X 3' Hand Knotted Wool Oriental Rug H3962
BH Sun Inc
Progress Lighting Path & Landscape Lights Low Voltage LED 1.5-watt Black
$70.65 | Home Depot
Gold Metal Lamps: 24 in. Aged Gold Twin Bird Table Lamp with Shade 07T544
Home Depot
Floral Tree Beige and Red 20-Inch Cotton Decorative Pillow
$70.00 | Bellacor
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™