Alpinia caerulea

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Alpinia caerulea
Alpinia caerulea fruit.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Clade: Commelinids
Order: Zingiberales
Family: Zingiberaceae
Genus: Alpinia
A. caerulea
Binomial name
Alpinia caerulea
(R.Br.) Benth.
  • Hellenia caerulea R.Br.

Alpinia caerulea, commonly known as native ginger or in the case of the subspecies from the Atherton Tableland red back ginger,[2] is an understorey perennial herb to 3 m, growing under rainforest, gallery forest and wet sclerophyll forest canopy in eastern Australia.

Leaves are up to 40 cm long and 3–10 cm wide. The inflorescence is 10–30 cm long.[3] The blue capsule is globose 1 cm across, with a brittle outer covering containing black seed and white pulp.


'Alpinia caerulea

The white pulp of native ginger has a sour flavour, used to activate salivary glands to moisten the mouth when bushwalking, with the seeds usually being discarded. The capsules can also be used as a flavouring spice, using the whole fruit and seed dried and ground. They can also be used to impart a sour flavour and red color in herbal teas.

The centers of new shoots have mild gingery flavour, and are excellent in various dishes as a ginger substitute. The roots can also be used in cooking, and have a more earthy resinous flavour.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The Plant List: A Working List of All Plant Species". Retrieved 20 February 2015.
  2. ^ Domus Nursery - Alpinia 'Atherton' profile
  3. ^ PlantNET, Alpinia caerulea plant profile