Zingiberaceae Zingiber officinale Roscoe
Source: Magness et al. 1971
Ginger is a biennial or perennial reed-like herb, grown for the pungent, spicy underground stems or rhizomes. The stems reach a height of 3 feet, with lanceolate, smooth leaves up to 8 inches long. The plants are propagated by small divisions of the rhizomes. A crop of rhizomes can be harvested approximately a year after planting. After harvesting, the rhizomes may be cleaned, washed and dried directly, or they may be peeled before drying. Preserved ginger is prepared from immature rhizomes by washing, boiling successively in sugar and water, and placed in containers in syrup, or dried and rolled in sugar. Ginger is used as a spice or condiment especially in carbonated beverages. Oil of ginger is also extracted from the rhizomes. Ginger is produced in many tropical countries, and has been grown experimentally in Florida; produced commercially in Hawaii 352 tons on 19 acres (1968).