'JUN JUN' NATIVE GINGER (Alpinia Caerulea) Seeds
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Native ginger, is an understorey perennial herb to 3 m, growing under rainforest, gallery forest and wet sclerophyll forest canopy in eastern Australia, grows beautiful bold blue, edible round berries.
Growth habit: Tight clumping, upright
Growing conditions: Well drained soil, rich in organic matter
Quite cold tolerant, grows well in most parts of Australia.
Grows from an underground rhizome, so the plant can be cut back hard if it looks untidy.
Frost will damage the leaves, but it should reshoot once the danger of frost is over
Likes a lightly shaded to full shade spot, and can be used indoors.
Attracts Wildlife: Bees, Butterflies, Other insects
This plant is known as Jun jun by the Kuku Yalanji people of coastal north east Queensland.
Bush Food: Roots and berries were traditionally eaten by Aboriginal people.
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.
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.
To harvest roots, dig up rhizomes from the edge of the plant to find the new growing tips. This way you can enjoy the best edible part of the plant without removing it entirely or damaging the plant. Berries can be picked straight from the plant.
Bush medicine: 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.
Germination: The seeds don’t like being fussed over, after sowing leave alone and they should germinate in about 2 months.