Sunday, March 7, 2010

Zingiber mioga-a hardy ginger for NY


I got my start of this intriguing plant from a friend in Bronxville, the town next door. He has had a patch of it growing for some years, and also has a white variegated leaf form which appears to be somewhat less vigorous. My division has also spread a bit, producing typical ginger type foliage which remains green through the growing season. The foliage dies back completely come cold weather, and new shoots emerge when it gets warm. Most peculiar are the pale yellow flowers which appear around August, they come in short inflorescences which pop randomly out of the ground like some kind of strange mushroom. Eventually the attactive pale flowers open, just above ground level. I have read that the young inflorescences are edible, and in fact are rather esteemed in Japanese cusine, but there are also references which suggest they might have some carcinogenic potential, so for now I think I'll pass on the culinary option. No special winter protection appears to be needed for this ginger, since it has come through many winters without attention in my friends garden and several also in my garden.

4 comments:

Acantholimon said...

You are INCREDIBLE: a hardy Zingiber...who'd a thunk it...really enjoy your blog.

Thanks, btw, for that envelope full of seed last week...I think I'm going to post your blog on my Facebook page: more people need to read it!

Greensparrow said...

Ginger flowers are VERY edible. Delicious in fact. I never heard about the carcinogen thing though...

shan said...

I live in NYC and would like to grow this. Can you tell me where I can buy the starter?

Christian Leue said...

Hi, would love to get some of these for my mom (she is japanese), but haven't found the rhizomes for sale anywhere. And ideas? Thanks!