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Australian Native Ginger- Alpinia Caerulea

Native Ginger (Alpinia Caerulea) is a traditional bush tucker plant that has leaves and rhizomes (roots) that have a mild tangy ginger flavour. Generally found in Northern New South Wales and Southern Queensland rainforest, this hardy edible perennial plant grows broad sword-shaped leaves on non-woody palm-like stems that spring from ginger-like roots. Not only do they produce attractive dark red undersides of their foliage, which lends to their beauty as an indoor plant but yield magnificent lily-like white flowers on a spike-like head followed by beautiful bold blue, edible round fruits containing a black seed and white pulp. The new leaf shoots and berries have a mild ginger flavour and are often used in cooking and teas, or can be eaten fresh from the plant.

Small round blue fruit flower from the head of a Alpinia Caerulea leaf.

 

General Care

Sunlight

Bright, indirect sunlight.

Water

Regularly water, allowing for soil to dry between waterings. Mist and clean leaves routinely.

Humidity

Moderate humidity conditions.

Soil

Use a high-quality, well-draining potting mix.

Long spear-shaped leaves sprout from a central stem with a spiked head dotted with tiny white flowers.

Common Problems

Ginger doesn’t have a lot of common problems, However, there are a couple of bacterial and fungal diseases that can take hold of Native Ginger. Most of these diseases cannot be cured, only prevented, making it really important to plan and set up your ginger garden/pot with fresh soil.

Symptom

Yellowing/ Wilting Leaves (bottom to top)

Cause

Bacterial Wilt- remove diseased shoots/rhizomes

Symptom

Yellow/Stunted Shoots

Cause

Fusarium Yellow Fungus- remove diseased shoots/rhizomes

Precautions

The majority of the Australian Native Ginger plant is commonly known as non-toxic to pets and humans. However, pets that eat ginger plants regularly may become ill. Avoid consuming the seed of the berries as they can be toxic to both humans and animals. 

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