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galanga and alpinia sp.

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  • Luca "Jama"
    Hello everybody, I m new to pfaf mailinglist, I m from Italy and I grow a plant collection which became a personal project some years ago under name The
    Message 1 of 3 , Apr 1, 2005
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      Hello everybody,
      I'm new to pfaf mailinglist, I'm from Italy and I grow a plant collection
      which became a personal project some years ago under name "The Ethnobotanic
      Garden".
      This just to introduce myself...
      this email is to ask if someone know differences in usage and safety between
      Alpinia galanga (galanga spice) and other Alpinia species. Particularly I'd
      like to know if anyone know if Alpinia caerulea is used and if it could be
      harmful if ingested.
      I grow here a large specimen (or just a clump of specimens) of Alpinia but
      they're mixed Alpinia galanga and Alpinia caerulea (when I put them together
      in the same pot I didn't realize they grow so well in my area). If anyone
      know differences will be great, because I'd like to try culinary employment
      of theese plants of myself.

      Thanks,
      Luca Gelardi - The Ethnobotanic Garden - ITALY
      http://www.psicoattivo.it/etnobotanica
    • Bekki Moon
      Hello Luca I had a look for this in the Royal Horticultural Society herb encyclopedia, there s not a lot of information, but here is what it says: In addition
      Message 2 of 3 , Apr 8, 2005
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        Hello Luca
         
        I had a look for this in the Royal Horticultural Society herb encyclopedia, there's not a lot of information, but here is what it says:
         
        In addition to Alpinia officinarum and A.galanga, several other species are used for flavourings and medicines.  The Australian A.caerulea (native ginger) has ginger-flavoured rhizomes..
         
        Looking it up on the internet found several sites which say that the blue fruit is possibly edible (some are more definite than others!) but that at very least the fruit's pith is edible and lemon-flavoured.  The young rhizome tips are also listed as edible, but as none of these give much information, it sounds like one worth researching a bit more before you try it on yourself!  I would love to know how to grow galangale, as it is something I enjoy using, I wonder if you are in the south of Italy or somewhere a bit cooler?  I live in Kent in England, which is not always that warm.
         
        Kind regards
         
        Bekki

        "Luca "Jama"" <jamaicafan@...> wrote:
        Hello everybody,
        I'm new to pfaf mailinglist, I'm from Italy and I grow a plant collection
        which became a personal project some years ago under name "The Ethnobotanic
        Garden".
        This just to introduce myself...
        this email is to ask if someone know differences in usage and safety between
        Alpinia galanga (galanga spice) and other Alpinia species. Particularly I'd
        like to know if anyone know if Alpinia caerulea is used and if it could be
        harmful if ingested.
        I grow here a large specimen (or just a clump of specimens) of Alpinia but
        they're mixed Alpinia galanga and Alpinia caerulea (when I put them together
        in the same pot I didn't realize they grow so well in my area). If anyone
        know differences will be great, because I'd like to try culinary employment
        of theese plants of myself.

        Thanks,
        Luca Gelardi - The Ethnobotanic Garden - ITALY
        http://www.psicoattivo.it/etnobotanica


        Send instant messages to your online friends http://uk.messenger.yahoo.com

      • Luca "Jama"
        Hello! Thanks for reply. In the meantime I ve received a copy of the huge opera omnia Cornucopia II by S. Facciola. There there s a reference to Alpinia
        Message 3 of 3 , Apr 21, 2005
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          Hello!
          Thanks for reply. In the meantime I've received a copy of the huge opera
          omnia "Cornucopia II" by S. Facciola. There there's a reference to Alpinia
          caerulea: "tender, young tips of the rhizome have distinct ginger-like
          flavor and may be eaten. The pleasantly acid pulp that surrounds the seeds
          is also edible."
          After this I've looked at my plants that at this time are growing new
          shoots, but I'm a little confused, because young tips of the rhizome
          (shoots) are already enough fibrous and not so tender, I mean they are
          tender (and dark brown coloured) when they're 1-2 cm long then they start to
          hard the external part and they change their colour to lighter brown then
          reddish brown and at least the first leaf opens. So is the edible part that
          2 cm long tender shoot? Isn't it too small? I haven't still tried to cut off
          that young shoots, but I think that cutting them new shoots will come, I'll
          try.
          Just for information I'm located in southern Italy (Sicily island) and here
          the species grows very well. Both A.caerulea and A.zerumbet grows well as I
          think any other species of this genus. They suffer a little cold
          temperatures (here they rarely goes below zero degrees celsius) and leaves
          goes browny, but I cut down to ground at start of spring damaged shoots and
          new ones grow up. Last year they flowered for first time and it was during
          july, but they didn't set seeds, we'll see this year. The species is also
          very easy propagated via rhizome cuttings. I've received A.zerumbet cuttings
          from Reunion islands and after that long travel they started to grow very
          well once put under the ground.

          Luca
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