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Ginger, Shell Ginger, Torch Ginger

Recommendations for Maintaining Postharvest Quality

ginger flower032
Michael S. Reid

Department of Plant Sciences, University of California, Davis

Maturity & Quality


Alpinia zerumbet, Alpinia purpurata. The ginger flowers represent a range of species and genera from the tropics that include the plants producing the edible ginger rhizome. One of the common lei flowers used in Hawaii is white-ginger. Torch ginger flowers are spectacular spikes of red flowers that give an especially tropical impact in arrangements. The genus is named after the Italian botanist Prosper Alpinus.

Quality Indices

No specific maturity standards have been developed for these flowers. They are normally harvested when all flowers on the spike are open. Make sure flowers do not exhibit chill damage symptoms such as off-colored (grayish/bluish) blooms.

Grading and Bunching

There are no specific grade standards for gingers. Proper maturity and freedom from flower and foliage defects would be important indicators of quality. Gingers are large flowers and are therefore normally packed individually. Some species may be individually sleeved to protect the delicate petals.

Ethylene Sensitivity

These flowers do not appear to be particularly sensitive to ethylene.


There is no evidence that pre-treatments provide any benefit to ginger flowers.

Storage Conditions

Store at 12.5-15°C. Gingers are chilling sensitive, so they must be held at warmer temperatures.


Gingers are packed flat in standard or insulated fiberboard boxes. Special Considerations Their large size makes them difficult to manage. Since insects sometimes make the trip from grower, wholesaler to retailer, make sure flowers are inspected and any insects removed.


October 2004

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Except for these specified uses, no part of the textual materials available on the UC Postharvest Technology Center Web site may be copied, downloaded, stored in a retrieval system, further transmitted or otherwise reproduced, stored, disseminated, transferred or used, in any form or by any means, except as permitted herein or with the University of California's prior written agreement. Request permission from UC Postharvest Technology Center. Distribution for commercial purposes is prohibited.

The information in this fact sheet represents our best understanding of the current state of knowledge at the time of the latest update, and does not represent an exhaustive review of all research results. Links to any of these UC Postharvest Technology Center pages are permitted, but no endorsement of the linking site or products mentioned in the linking page is intended or implied by such a link.

How to Cite

Author(s) names. Initial publication or update date (located at the top). Title. Link to the specific Produce Fact Sheet webpage (Accessed date)

Example: Cantwell, M. and T. Suslow. 2002. Lettuce, Crisphead: Recommendations for Maintaining Postharvest Quality. (Accessed January 18, 2014).

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