Native Ginger (Alpinia caerulea)
Size: Up to 3m
Description: Perennial multi-stemmed herb with large frond like leaves and bright blue fruits.
Habitat: Moist shaded areas, rainforests and along rainforest margins, moist coastal forests
Foliage: Large glossy green fronds with stems up to 1.5m, alternate leaves (40cm x 10cm). Light pinky white underground rhizomes.
Flowers: White flowers to 10mm in terminal spikes to 30cm (Nov-Dec).
Fruit/seeds: Globose bright blue/purple fruit (10mm) with brittle shell encasing numerous dark coloured seeds in a white edible pulp (ripen in autumn).
Distribution: From NSW central coast and QLD coastal areas.
Uses: Edible underground rhizomes/roots have a mild ginger taste and can be used like household ginger although not as strong – leaf/stem tips have a strong ginger taste and can also be used as a vegetable additive (NSW species not as strong in flavour as those of QLD). Edible sweet white pulp in the fruit (spit out seeds).