Ginger plants can grow to about 1 m tall. The upright shoots sprout from the rhizome at the base of the plant.
Rhizomes – knobbly and fleshy, covered in ring-like scars. This is an important part for food and medicine. Although the rhizomes grow underground, they are swollen stems, not roots. This is why fresh ginger is often referred to as ‘stem ginger’.
Flowers – the flowering spikes sprout directly from the rhizomes and are about 30 cm long. The flowers are purple with a cream-blotched base. Fruits – red in colour. Each has three chambers containing several small black seeds. Ginger plants that are cultivated in commercial plantations don’t usually bear fruit.
Propagation: Grown from the end ‘finger’ pieces broken off a root or ‘hand’ of ginger. Existing ginger plants can be divided and the roots grown on, although they are difficult to keep alive during the UK winter because of low light levels.