Alpinia Galanga - Thai Galangal Ginger
Part of the ginger family, and well known as a herb in Southeast Asian cuisine, the Alpinia Galanga is known better as the Blue Ginger, Greater Galangal, or Lengkuas.
Native to Indonesia, it is cultivated and become naturalised all over Southeast Asia, as far as the Phillippines and notably Thailand.
Reaching up to around 2m tall in stiff clumps from an underground rhizome, the leaves can reach up to 45cm long, lanceolate and an attractive green. Flowers are a many-flowered raceme, growing from the terminal of a leaf stem, and highly fragrant. Infloresences are around 4cm long, yellowy-white to pink in colour.
The rhizome is highly aromatic and the part used in cooking. Growing underground, they can reach to around 10cm thick and branch copiously, brown on the outside and orange-brown inside.
A common ingredient in many Thai curries and soups as well as other dishes such as Indonesian rendang, it can be used fresh or powdered to give dishes that extra 'zing'!
Enjoys full to part sun, and a moist but well draining soil. Rhizomes can be harvested as soon as three months after planting.
Extremely frost tender, it should not be kept below 15°C at any time.