Indian Ginger, Snap Ginger
Alpinia calcarata

Family: Zingiberaceae
Genus: Alpinia (al-PIN-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: calcarata (kal-ka-RAY-tuh) (Info)
Synonym:Languas calcarata
Synonym:Alpinia cernu


Tropicals and Tender Perennials


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Pale Yellow

White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer



Other details:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Suitable for growing in containers

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

Seed Collecting:

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Deltona, Florida

Naples, Florida

Winter Springs, Florida

Gardeners' Notes:


On Dec 28, 2007, htop from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

I have not grown this plant. Indian ginger, snap ginger (Alpinia calcarata) is a native plant of India and is also known as cardamon ginger and false cardamon. Indian ginger appears to grow well in the Hawaiian Islands. It grows between 5 and 6 feet tall. The 2 inch wide, 12 inch long leaves are lighter on the undersides. The blooms, which somewhat resemble snapdragon blooms and appear on 4 inch racemes, are white with yellow and reddish-maroon variegation. Indian Ginger blooms on second year growth. If temperatures stay above the mid-twenties, it stays evergreen throughout the winter and will bloom in the spring. In very hot regions, Indian ginger prefers morning sun and afternoon shade. Although the seeds do not look like true cardamon, the leaves can be used to add flavour when ste... read more