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The Resilience Hub & Portland Maine Permaculture Message Board › Myoga Ginger - grow a ginger in Maine?

Myoga Ginger - grow a ginger in Maine?

Greg M.
user 3541854
Acton, ME
Post #: 53
I was doing a bit of reading this morning about Myoga Ginger, Zingiber mioga, a Japanese ginger that is supposed to be hardy to 0 F (zone 7b or 8). I was thinking maybe this ginger could be grown here in Maine with unheated greenhouse protection, in the shade of other crops perhaps.

"STOKES TROPICALS - this edible ginger is grown for its flowers and new shoots. Native to Japan, the light yellow flowers are eaten in tempura and new shoots are used in garnish. Blooms from mid to late summer to late fall on basal inflorescences. This very hardy species is even grown in parts of Canada. Grows to 2 ft in med sun. Zone 7b."

Doesn't sound like the rhizome is the part of this ginger eaten. Anyone have any experiences with this plant? Sounds kind of interesting (I love ginger).
Greg M.
user 3541854
Acton, ME
Post #: 54
The cultivar "Dancing Crane" is supposed to be more hardy than the species and is variegated. According to this Michigan nursery that sells it, it overwinters for them in zone 6.

user 4058763
Hollis Center, ME
Post #: 242
Wow, Greg.
That's very interesting. I don't know much about ginger, but I'd love to grow it here. It is such a good medicinal!!!

Thanks for the info,
David S.
Washington, ME
Post #: 550
Wild ginger does grow in Maine. If you could get seeds or root cuttings....


Greg M.
user 3541854
Acton, ME
Post #: 55
Thanks David, have you ever tasted our Wild Ginger? I haven't brought it onto my property because I'd heard it wasn't all that good, but Plants for a Future gave it an edibility rating of 3/5...maybe it's ok. Would love to know if anyone has tried it and what they think.

This is how pfaf describes our native Wild Ginger's flavor "The root can be used as a ginger substitute[183]. The root has a pungent, aromatic smell like mild pepper and ginger mixed, but more strongly aromatic. It can be harvested all year round, but is best in the autumn[K]. "

Wikipedia has this to say about Wild Ginger, Asarum canadense,:
"The long rhizomes of A. canadense were used by Native Americans as a seasoning.[2] It has similar aromatic properties to true ginger (Zingiber officinale), but should not be used as a substitute because it contains an unknown concentration of the carcinogen aristolochic acid.[4] The distillate from the ground root is known as Canadian snakeroot oil. The odor and flavor are spicy. It has been used in many flavor preparations.[5]
Native Americans used the plant as a medicinal herb to treat a number of ailments including dysentery, digestive problems, swollen breasts, coughs and colds, typhus, scarlet fever, nerves, sore throats, cramps, heaves, earaches, headaches, convulsions, asthma, tuberculosis, urinary disorders and venereal disease. In addition, they also used it as a stimulant, an appetite enhancer and a charm. It was also used as an admixture to strengthen other herbal preparations.[2]"

My interest in Myoga is that it is botanically a true ginger, in the same genus as culinary ginger, and has a long tradition of use as a food. I'm hoping in this adventuresome group that someone may have tasted Myoga and can tell us what it's like. In reading more it seems that some cultivars may be able to overwinter here without protection...makes me curious. Maybe I should plant a bit of Myoga and our asarum Wild Ginger and do a taste test? (though I may never want to eat too much of the Wild Ginger
based on the Wikipedia comments...I hope it's not great tasting!)
A former member
Post #: 149
Hi Greg,
I recently read in an herb book that I got from the library that you can grow culinary ginger inside on a sunny windowsill. Not the quantity you probably have in mind, but you could play around with growing it inside to see what its habit is and then move it outside during the summer. Next time I'm at the library, I'll see if I can retrieve the book to glean more.

A former member
Post #: 489
I have eaten wild ginger root and I feel it would take quite a stretch of imagination to compare it to ginger. It is very common in Minnesota, so common that I'm not sure if I've seen it here or not as I would not take notice of it. I have grown purchased ginger root - just plant a piece and it will grow. Mine did not grow so fast that one could ever expect to harvest the roots.

Sue M.
user 3284483
South Portland, ME
Post #: 92
I planted part of a ginger root i got at Hannafor and it hasn't done anything in the two months since. Hasn't rotted or sprouted. So I'm hoping it will still grow since it hasn't rotted. Has anyone tried to grow it before?
South Berwick, ME
Post #: 150
Greg, if you do decide to order some to try, let me know ~ heck down here we might be pushing zone 6 with how temps have been going....and my trusty southern microclimate. :) I'd be up for experimenting.

Greg M.
user 3541854
Acton, ME
Post #: 58
Will do, Mary. Not sure if I'll try it this year or wait until spring so the plants have longer to establish before their first winter. I'm leaning towards spring, already lots to do this year. Really looking forward to trying it though. I'll let you know if I get weak and order it this year or not. If it works out could be another great plant for future plant swaps!
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