Skip to main content

Native Ginger

BSA Plant Guide

Native Ginger (Alpinia caerulea)

Family: Zingiberaceae

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).

Edible fruit of Alpinia caerulea
Alpinia caerulea
Edible roots of Alpinia caerulea