Zingiber mioga is a super hardy member of the ginger family, known as Myoga in Japan and China is widely cultivated in Asia for its tasty edible shoots and flower buds. For us in our cool northern climes this is amazing as Zingiber mioga naturally occurs in the cool mountains of south east China, Vietnam and Korea when it has evolved to cope with extreme cold often down to minus 16 degrees centigrade making it ideal for gardens here.
With lush jungly foliage up to 100-150cm high it is perfect planted amongst hardy bananas, palms and cannas. During mid to late summer the pale yellow to white orchid like flowers are produced rather bizarrely close to the ground looking just like masses of orchids blooms have been scattered amongst the foliage.
Zingiber mioga will do best planted in a sunny to dappled shade position ideally in fertile soil that is not waterlogged in winter. In fact, it will tolerate pretty dry even poor soils but as always, any fast-growing perennial will do better if given extra help with improved fertility.
Once planted it will after a few years it will slowly spread into a multi-stemmed clump the leafy stems arching as they grow. The leaves and stems once frosted tend to die down during the winter and can be removed. During this time, I like to mulch the crowns with a good layer of organic compost to help feed the plant during the following season whilst keeping the roots snug during winter.
Finally, Zingiber mioga is indeed a hardy edible ginger, you may see myoga for sale in Japanese supermarkets. It is the new shoots and flower buds that are edible so please don’t eat the rhizomes or leaves as they are not considered edible.