Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Black Ginger, Midnight Ginger
Zingiber malaysianum

Family: Zingiberaceae
Genus: Zingiber (zing-ee-ber) (Info)
Species: malaysianum (ma-la-see-AY-num) (Info)

One vendor has this plant for sale.

14 members have or want this plant for trade.

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

15-18 in. (38-45 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:
Partial to Full Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Unknown - Tell us

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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No positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral htop On Dec 24, 2007, htop from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

Black ginger's (Zingiber malaysianum) shiny leaves are a deep, almost black, purple-bronze. "Midnight" is like a common name. It is not a cultivar name although it has been used as such. It is a rhizomatous perennial native endemic to the southern State of Johor, Malaysia. Zingiber malaysianum was formally described only in 2002. The inflorescence arises on short stems a short distance from the stems from the rhizomes. The bracts are sulfur yellow and turn a bubblegum pink as they age. The cream colored true flowers appear from between the bracts. Zingiber malaysianum does not have a natural winter dormancy; thus, it is evergreen. This makes it more vulnerable to cold weather and it must be protected in the winter except in frost-free climates. Some state that it will grow well in Zone 8; however, if the soil is kept too moist in cool weather, the rhizomes are prone to rotting. It will grow in Zone 9; however, Zone 10 provides the optimum environment. Temperatures below 50 degrees F may cause it to not bloom. Needing well drained soil, it also must be provided with regular moisture in its active growth period in the summer. If the leaves turn a slight yellow, it is an indication the plant has been in a location that is too cold for it to thrive. Black Ginger "Midnight'" was the last ginger to emerge after dying back in the winter. I thought that it might have died, but this seemed unreasonable because we had a very mild winter. As soon as the daytime temperatures warmed into the upper 80s and low 90s, new leaves have emerged. So if you have planted this lovely ginger and it has not come back up, give it some time before deciding it has died.

Update - October 31, 2008
After a very wet winter, this plant must have rotted in the ground because it never returned.


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

Big Pine Key, Florida
Boca Raton, Florida
Lake Worth, Florida
Miami, Florida
Ocala, Florida
Agana Heights, Guam
St John, Mississippi
Mount Laurel, New Jersey
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Plano, Texas
San Antonio, Texas

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