I use the young fresh shoots, the flower buds and the flowers, these flowers are very tasty and add a soft ginger touch to salads. The plants are amazingly easy to grow, and very winter hardy, mine stands at least -13°C. It isn't really invasive over here, but summers aren't hot enough to make it grow fast. But it's a nice plant and can be placed in partly shaded wet spots, especially in warmer regions.
I planted one of these last year and it definitely isn't invasive here as it died outside - I had hoped it would make it as the minimum was only -13C last winter and it was generally frost free. I overwintered some inside, so this looks like being another pot plant!
Eating my way through the world's 15,000+ edible species
Should try old baths Ray,thats where i'll start of mine where there's still plenty of room but still contained as i feel it maybe still invasive here even though we get colder temps than what cesarz gets but not as cold as stevil or orflo. Often thought that invasive plants like these could be grown out in my sheep paddock,just make small fenced areas that the sheep can eat anything that spreads out,would suit plants like bamboo,also adds a bit more to the animals diet
Often thought that invasive plants like these could be grown out in my sheep paddock,just make small fenced areas that the sheep can eat anything that spreads out,would suit plants like bamboo,also adds a bit more to the animals diet
Good idea Richard.
Ray Silty loam over clay, pH 5.5, altitude 1000m, latitude 30deg south, 150 frost free days.
Myoga flowers but does not set seed. Probably gone sterile from being propagated too many times vegetatively. If it seeded, I could send some to Europe.
Stevil, I think it could easily survive -12C and probably routinely does so in Japan and also in places like Atlanta that regularly see such temperatures. It is one of the hardiest gingers and astonishingly hardy for its genus. Most Zingibers are deep-tropical.
I suspect what did yours in was more likely lack of enough heat units before the cold hit. Never ripened. Mine have had a hard time with several years of la Niña conditions. Normally it grow...well, like a weed even this far north. It is normally vigorous.
Does anyone grow it?? any tips or anything worth knowing about it.
Answering the original question:
Yes, I grow it, you should have no trouble in most of New Zealand unless you are at a high elevation or really far south.
Like most Zingiberaceae it likes warm temperatures, rich soil (feed generously), and plenty of moisture while actively growing (if they turn chlorotic, suspect not enough moisture first); not recommended but they can stand fairly wet feet while actively growing. They like to dry out while going dormant though this is not 100% necessary if drainage is good. They can't stand as much moisture when dormant though as they can while growing; if too wet they will rot.
UNLIKE MOST RHIZOMES it should be transplanted in active growth, NOT while dormant. While dormant, their resistance to rotting after injury is compromised (says one who learned the hard way). Divide them green and actively growing, NOT dormant. It matters less in warmer climates with drier winters. When actively growing, small pieces of rhizome usually take, as long as they have buds on them.
The rhizomes spread fast. They are strong enough to burst pots if you let them get too pot-bond.
Here, at least, they bloom in the autumn. Like most Zingibers, their flowers show up on ridiculously short stalks UNDER the green shoots. You might never notice them blooming!! Be sure to look for the flowers. They are off-white or pale yellow.
Maybe it's self-sterile and there's only one clone making it's rounds?
I don't know, but Zingiberaceae does not seem to be prone to self-compatibility problems. More likely a function of either virus buildup or hybridity between not entirely compatible species.
It is not unusual for plants to go sterile when vegetatively propagate too many times; I'd try de-virusing it first and see if that helped.
Finding wild plants might be a challenge. Not even clear where it is native. Most sources say "Japan" but it's not clear that plants growing there are not feral. Plus, it exists in China and Korea as well. I found one source claiming southwestern China, which would make a lot more sense relative to where other species come from. They are overwhelmingly tropical and I would expect the exception to be from someplace like Yunnan not Japan.
Generally speaking, most cultivated plants assumed native to Japan, particularly any in cultivation prior to about the 19th century, generally turn out to be natives of China. The Japanese brought crops and ornamentals from the mainland and took almost no interest in the native flora until quite late.