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Midnight ginger has shiny, almost black foliage (deep purple-bronze) that appears to be lacquered. This is a stunner with bright basal yellow cone flowers in spring. The long lasting cones later turn with aging to a pretty apricot and pink. It may be deciduous in zone 9.
This ginger has tall, erect stems with narrow leaves, this basal bloomer produces green cones that turn red when mature. It is a herbaceous perennial with upright stems and narrow medium green leaves arranged in two ranks on each stem. Ginger grows from an aromatic tuberlike rhizome (underground stem) which is warty and branched. The inflorescence grows on a separate stem from the foliage stem, and forms a dense spike. The bracts are green with translucent margins and the small flowers are yellow green with purple lips and cream colored blotches. Most of edible gingers in cultivation are sterile cultivars grown for the edible rhizome, and the flower is rarely seen. Ginger is often grown in a container and brought indoors in winter when water and light are reduced and the plant is allowed to "rest." Common cooking gingers are rarely found in garden centers as potted plants because they do not have much ornamental value. Plant this ginger in the garden to produce your own fresh ginger.
This is the smallest of the beehive gingers.
Bright red flowering cones bloom at ground level and even partially below the soil. Each scale produces a single inch-wide red flower with a creamy colored lip marked in red. Winter dormant. Rhizomes remain underground through winter.
The seed capsules are used in India as a spice.