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Re: Gingers - geophytes?

I got the same definition as Jim. That's why I couldn't figure out what they were talking about. I already knew the hydechiums (hydechia?) had rhizomes.
----- Original Message ----- From: "Kitty" <kmrsy@comcast.net>
To: <gardenchat@hort.net>
Sent: Tuesday, January 04, 2005 9:39 PM
Subject: Re: [CHAT] Gingers - geophytes?

M-W is a bit off - should stick to language & grammar. Geophytes have
storage organs below ground.

----- Original Message ----- From: "james singer" <jsinger@igc.org>
To: <gardenchat@hort.net>
Sent: Tuesday, January 04, 2005 5:32 PM
Subject: Re: [CHAT] Gingers - geophytes?

Most so-called gingers are in the Alpinia genre. The most notable
Zingiber ginger is the edible one, which is a rhizome [looks enough
like an iris rhizome to be one]. I think Alpinia grow from rhizomes, as
do all the heliconias I'm familiar with. If I remember rightly, my
curcumas grow from little round things, but I don't think they're
bulbs. Most bulb seem to offset, but curcumas, like caladiums, seem to
produce string-of-pearls type offspring--lots of little balls forming
along a lateral root.

According to that noted botanic authority Merriam-Webster, anything
that buds below ground is a geophyte. If true, it's not a terribly
useful descriptor, since it would include all sorts of grasses, from
Bermuda to bamboo, and a lot of other weird stuff.

On Tuesday, January 4, 2005, at 12:13 PM, kmrsy@comcast.net wrote:

> At the moment I don't have access to all my books, so maybe you can
> help.  Are gingers geophytes?
> The family Zingiberaceae, Gingers, include lots of plants that have
> been
> mentioned on this list. I've only grown one Curcuma but I've heard some
> of you mention growing Hedychiums and Zingibers among others in the
> family. I bought my Curcuma "bulbs" from Odyssey.
> In looking through Bryan's huge book on Bulbs (covers all geophytes),
> though, there is no mention of Gingers. I looked a little online and so
> far the only mention I have found was on Curcuma alismatifolia at
> Dave's
> Garden:
> "[Propagate] By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including
> offsets)"
> which is a most stupid comment IMO because this particular plant cannot
> be all of those. However, it does indicate to me that, as I suspected
> from what I purchased from Odyssey, they are indeed some sort of
> geophyte - but which kind? I realize that within any one genus in the
> family some species could be rhizoomes, some bulbs, some fibrous roots,
> as in the genus, Iris. But so far I have found little info.
> I can check other books when I get home and I'll check further on the
> internet, but I thought some of you might also be able to give me a
> hand.
> Kitty
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
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Island Jim
Southwest Florida
27.0 N, 82.4 W
Zone 10a
Minimum 30 F [-1 C]
Maximum 100 F [38 C]

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