|Zingiber subsp. var.||Ginger|
|Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture|
Zingiber (name ultimately derived from a Sanskrit word meaning horn-shaped; probably referring to the ginger root). Zingiberaceae. Ginger. Perennial herbs sometimes grown as warmhouse plants, and also for summer bedding in the southern United States for their decorative value; source of ginger.
Rhizomes horizontal, tuberous: sts. leafy, the flowering and sterile differing: lvs. oblong-lanceolate, clasping the st. by their long sheaths: infl. thyrsoid-spike-like, dense cone-like or rather long, terminal or lateral; bracts usually 1-fld.: calyx cylindrical, shortly 3-lobed; corolla-tube cylindrical, segms. lanceolate, upper concave; later staminodes none or adnate to the obovate-cuneate lip; anther-cells contiguous, crest narrow, as long as the cells; ovary 3-celled, ovules many, superposed: caps. oblong, finally dehiscing.—About 70 species, natives of the tropics of the Old World. Monographed by K. Schumann in Engler's Pflanzenreich, hft. 20 (IV. 46). It is said by gardeners that in Zingiber the leaves tend to roll up or inward and in Hedychium downward.
The ginger plant is a small reed-like plant 2 feet or more high, as cultivated in greenhouses, with tuberous rhizomes, aromatic leaves and dense cone-like clusters of bracts. The flowers, however, are very rarely produced in cultivation, and Roxburgh wrote that he never saw the seeds. The plant is supposed to be native to India and China, but, like many other tropical plants of economic importance, its exact nativity is uncertain. Some idea of the importance of ginger to the world may be gained by the fact that as early as 1884 Great Britain imported 5,600,000 pounds valued at $620,000. Medicinal ginger is prepared from the dried "root;" condimental ginger from the green. Candied ginger is made from carefully selected succulent young rhizomes which are washed and peeled and then preserved in jars of sirup. Housewives often preserve their own ginger; it is important to have the hands protected while scraping the roots or they will "burn” for days. Ginger probably could be cultivated commercially in southern Florida and California. In Florida it thrives in rich soil and partial shade, and the roots can be dug and used at any time. The plant is cultivated commercially even in localities where it is necessary to lift the roots and store them over the cool season, as in the lower Himalayas. In the West Indies ginger may be cultivated up to an altitude of 3,500 feet.
Zingibers are occasionally cultivated as warmhouse decorative plants. The shoots having a reed-like appearance, they may often be used to good advantage in arranging plants for artistic effects. They are of the easiest culture. Propagation is effected by division of the rhizomes in spring. These should be potted in fibrous loam to which a third of well-decomposed cow- or sheep-manure has been added. Water should be given sparingly until the shoots have well developed, when they should have an abundance. They are also benefited by an occasional watering with weak liquid manure water. Toward the end of summer the shoots will begin to mature, when the water-supply should be diminished, and as soon as the plants are ripened off the pots may be stored either under the greenhouse stages or in some other convenient place, where they should be kept almost dry for the winter.
Z. corallinum, Hance. Leafy sts. differing from the flowering, almost 3 ft. high: lvs. sessile, linear-lanceolate, glabrous above, pilose beneath, 12 x 2 1/2: in.: spike oblong, obtuse, 7 in. long, bracts ovate, scarlet: corolla-lobes red, oblong, acuminate; lip obovate, lateral lobes inconspicuous. China.—Once offered in Fla.
About 60 species exist in the ginger (Zingiberaceae) family, but the only one we commonly eat is the rhizome of Zingiber officinale. The herbaceous and evergreen rhizomatous plants form clumps. They are perennial herbs. Leaves are normally narrow and arranged in 2 ranks on upright stems. Blooms are often very bright colors and appear cone-like, with the waxy-looking bracts overlapping. These inflorescences rise from the plant's base in summer. The majority are frost tender, though some do well in temperate gardens.
Most like nutrient-rich, moist soil with good drainage, and full to part shade. They like a warm, humid climate.
Most are easily propagated by division in early spring.
Pests and diseases
Approx 60 species, including: Z. cochleariforme - Z. cylindricum - Z. darceyi - Z. ellipticum - Z. emeiense - Z. guangxiense - Z. gulinense - Z. kawagoii - Z. leptorrhizum - Z. liangshanense - Z. lingyunense - Z. longyangjiang - Z. macradenium - Z. mioga - Z. mongalense - Z. montanum - Z. nudicarpum -Z. officinale - Z. sichuanense - Z. spectabile - Z. sylvaticum - Z. tuanjuum - Z. zerumbet
- Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture, by L. H. Bailey, MacMillan Co., 1963
- Flora: The Gardener's Bible, by Sean Hogan. Global Book Publishing, 2003. ISBN 0881925381
- w:Zingiber. Some of the material on this page may be from Wikipedia, under the Creative Commons license.
- Zingiber QR Code (Size 50, 100, 200, 500)