The WALA Plant Library

Synonyms for Ginger: none
Scientific Name: Zingiber officinale Rosc.
Family: Zingiberaceae


These firm, yellowish brown or grey rhizomes are nowadays to be found in any good fruit and vegetable department. With their irregular shapes and knobbly protrusions they often resemble little manikins. Ginger root is familiar to anyone who likes cooking Asian style. Every time you cut open these dry, hard, odourless roots it is as if a little miracle takes place: the characteristic pungent lemony aroma is immediately exuded and a yellow juice seeps out of the woody structure. This rhizome, the rootstock of the ginger plant, grows horizontally in the ground, only branching in a single plane. And what grows from the root? The ginger plant itself has the appearance of a very strong grass. Its green pseudostems, which can reach a height of more than 3 feet, are actually leaves which are so tightly closed that they look like stems. Longish leaves protrude from the pseudostems at intervals. The stem ends in a whitish-yellow spike composed of individual flowers resembling orchids.