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Zingiber officinale (Zingiberaceae)
Habitat and appearance: Common throughout the Far East, it is native to Southeast Asia, particularly China, and is now grown commercially in most tropical countries.
The familiar ginger root is, in fact, its tuberous rhizome formed on this creeping perennial plant. It has an erect reed-like stem which appears every spring, bearing narrow lanceolate leaves that die down in the autumn. It has a flowering stalk, also rising directly from the root, from which a whitish-yellow, slightly fragrant bloom grows.
Garden suitability: Not climatically suitable for European gardens.