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Koeh-146-no text.jpg
Zingiber officinale
1896 illustration[1]
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
(unranked): Commelinids
Order: Zingiberales
Family: Zingiberaceae
Genus: Zingiber
Mill., 1754
  • Amomum L., rejected name
  • Pacoseroca Adans.
  • Thumung J.Koenig in A.J.Retzius
  • Dieterichia Giseke
  • Jaegera Giseke
  • Cassumunar Colla
  • Zerumbet T.Lestib. 1841, illegitimate homonym, not Garsault 1764 nor J.C. Wendl. 1798
  • Dymczewiczia Horan.

The genus Zingiber is native to Southeast Asia, China, the Indian Subcontinent, and New Guinea.[2][3][4][5] It contains the true gingers, plants grown the world over for their medicinal and culinary value. The most well-known is Z. officinale, garden ginger.


Each ginger species has a different culinary usage; for example, myoga is valued for the stem and flowers. Garden ginger's rhizome is the classic spice "ginger", and may be used whole, candied (known commonly as crystallized ginger), or dried and powdered. Other popular gingers used in cooking include cardamom and turmeric,[6] though neither of these examples is a "true ginger" - they belong to different genera in the Zingiberaceae family.


The Plant List[7] records the following accepted names for Zingiber species:


  1. ^ Franz Eugen Köhler, Köhler's Medizinal-Pflanzen
  2. ^ a b Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
  3. ^ Flora of China v 24 p 323, 姜属 jiang shu, Zingiber Miller, Gard. Dict. Abr., ed. 4. vol. 3. 1754.
  4. ^ Govaerts, R. (2004). World Checklist of Monocotyledons Database in ACCESS: 1-54382. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  5. ^ Tripathi, S. & Singh, K.K. (2006). Taxonomic revision of the genus Zingiber Boehm. in North-East India. Journal of Economic and Taxonomic Botany 30: 520-532.
  6. ^ "Flower notebook: Zingiber". Kalani Tropicals. Retrieved November 11, 2011. 
  7. ^ "Zingiber". The Plant List; Version 1. (published on the internet). 2010. Retrieved November 11, 2011.