There are different types of ginger other than common ginger which is used as a spice. Many ginger species are known for their ornamental features and medicinal properties.
Well-known Ginger types
1. Common Ginger
Botanical Name: Zingiber Officinale
Ginger is an important spice used in cooking and medicine. It has significant medicinal properties. Ginger grows best when exposed to direct sunlight.
2. Beehive Ginger
Botanical Name: Zingiber spectabile
The plant is also called Ginger wort and Malaysian ginger.
The plant is commonly known in the West by the common name "beehive ginger", due to its unusual inflorescences which resemble a beehive. It has many medicinal uses.
3. Bitter Ginger
Botanical Name: Zingiber zerumbet
Its common names include Pinecone ginger, Lempoyang ginger, and Shampoo ginger. The leaves and leaf stalk are also fragrant. This ginger is slightly bitter and is used to enhance the flavor of food. The most common use of bitter ginger is in shampoo and conditioners.
4. Myoga Ginger
Botanical Name: Zingiber mioga
Other Name: Japanese Ginger
Myoga Ginger's flowers and shoots are used in cooking. They have a refreshing taste with a strong, piquant aroma.
5. Crepe Ginger
Botanical Name: Cheilocostus speciosus
Other names for ginger include Malay ginger and Cane reed.
Known for its bright white blooms that resemble crepe paper. The flowers and buds are edible and have a pungent taste.
6. Hidden Ginger
Botanical Name: Curcuma petiolata
Other names include Queen Lily, Siam tulip, and hidden lily.
Hidden Ginger is a plant native to Malaysia. It has an intense spicy flavor and a bitter taste. Its blossoms come in various shades of red, pink, or orange.
7. Butterfly Lily Ginger
Botanical Name: Hedychium coronarium
White Ginger, Flor De Mariposa, Mariposa Blanca, and Dolan Champa are the common names of this plant.
It has fragrant flowers that resemble butterfly wings. Its spicy roots are used to flavor soupy dishes and the essential oil is good for fevers.
8. Shell Ginger
Botanical Name: Alpinia zerumbet
Also known as Variegated ginger and Getto plant.
Shell ginger has oval-shaped leaves with green lines. It is commonly used as an ornamental plant. Its flowers emit a sweet fragrance. The leaves of this plant are used in cuisines.
9. Dancing Ladies Ginger
Botanical Name: Globba winitii
It is also called as White Dragon Flower
This is a unique flowering plant. The flower emits a sweet honeysuckle-like scent and looks like a dancing woman when moved by the wind.
10. Yellow Ginger
Botanical Name: Hedychium flavescens
It has been called various names including "Cream Garland Lillie", "Yellow Ginger Lily"
Yellow gingers are often grown by gardeners because they produce beautiful, highly fragrant flowers. However, they're not as flavorful as regular gingers.
11. Red Ginger
Botanical Name: Alpinia purpurata
Other names for ginger include Ostrich plumes, Pink cone ginger, Jungle king, Teuila flower, and Tahitian ginger.
It has a strong spicy smell but is most well known for its bright red or pink bracted flowers.
12. Torch Ginger
Botanical Name:Etlingera elatior
The other names of Torch ginger are Wild ginger, Combrang, Bunga kantan, Philippine waxflower, Red ginger lily, and Rose de porcelain.
This beautiful tropical plant has large and colorful flowers that come in bright colors. The entire plant is edible and is used in many cuisines worldwide.
13. Mango Ginger
Botanical Name: Curcuma amada
Other Names: Mavina Shunti
The rhizomes are very similar to common ginger but lack its pungency, and instead have a raw mango flavor. They are used in making pickles in south India and chutneys in north India
14. Kahili Ginger
Botanical Name: Hedychium gardnerianum
It has other names including fragrant ginger lily and garland flower.
This plant is native to the Himalayan regions. It is a flowering plant of the ginger family. It is a perennial which grows up to a height of 180cm and is grown primarily for ornamental purposes.
15. Thai Ginger
Botanical Name: Alpinia galanga
It is also called as Greater Galangal, Ginseng Ginger, Krachai Dum Ginger, Lengkuas, and Blue Ginger.
Rhizomes of Thai gingers are used in Unani medicine. The rhizome has a pungent smell and strong taste reminiscent of citrus, black pepper, and pine needles.
16. Pineapple Ginger
Botanical Name: Tapeinochilos ananassae
Other names include Indonesian wax ginger and Lipstick ginger.
It has evergreen leaves and yellow flowers within red bracts. As an indoor plant, their flowers are valued for their beauty.
17. Resurrection Lily
Botanical Name: Kaempferia rotunda
Other names include Peacock ginger, Variegated ginger lily, Indian crocus, and Round-rooted galangal.
It is a plant with impressive foliage and lily flower-like blooms. The flowers are fragrant. Its tubers have an unpleasant spiciness and are used similarly to ginger.
18. Siam Tulip
Botanical Name: Curcuma alismatifolia
It is called Pink ginger tulips, summer tulip.
It bears pink flowers with a reddish hue. It can grow as an indoor plant and is also sold as a cut flower.
19. Snap Ginger
Botanical Name:Alpinia calcarata
Cardamom ginger and Indian ginger are its other names.
Snap Gingers are named after their yellow-red flowers which resemble Snapdragons. The leaves of Snap Gingers have a sweet, soothing fragrance that resemble that of Cinnamon bark.
Dr. Vandana K.