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"Zingiber purpureum Roscoe" in Bac Kan, Vietnam

Updated: Jan 11

Zingiber purpureum Roscoe, commonly known as Purple Ginger, is a species of ginger found in Bac Kan, Vietnam. This unique ginger variety is known for its vibrant purple flowers and attractive foliage, making it a visually stunning addition to the region's flora.


"Rock ginger" in Bac Kan, Vietnam
"Rock ginger" in Bac Kan, Vietnam

Zingiber purpureum Roscoe in Bac Kan, commonly known as Purple Ginger, also has various other names such as Mountain Ginger, Wind Ginger, Purple Turmeric, and Sun Ginger, depending on its regional presence. In Bac Kan province, it naturally grows in dense forests mixed with rocky soil, which is why it is called Zingiber purpureum Roscoe by the locals.

Zingiber purpureum Roscoe grows naturally in several provinces in the Northwest region such as Bac Kan, Cao Bang, Ha Giang, as well as in the Central region, including Quang Nam and Khanh Hoa, and the Central Highlands region, like Gia Lai and Dak Lak. It prefers fertile, loamy soil that drains well, particularly in cool and moist areas, under the shade of mature forests, at altitudes ranging from 500 to 700 meters above sea level. The plant usually grows in clusters with 5 to 6 stalks.

Purple Ginger is a herbaceous plant that reaches a height of about 1 meter. It has lanceolate leaves with a deep green color. The small rhizomes resemble fingers and have multiple nodes. When mature, the rhizome's outer skin turns brown, while the inner flesh is yellow and emits a distinct aroma that is different from other ginger varieties (slightly resembling the smell of beetles).

Origin and Botanical Characteristics of Zingiber purpureum Roscoe.
Origin and Botanical Characteristics of Zingiber purpureum Roscoe.

Uses: Purple Ginger is primarily used as a spice in the preparation of traditional dishes of various ethnic communities, such as marinated meat, grilled meat, and stewed dishes. Due to its high antibiotic properties, Purple Ginger is also used in the treatment of inflammatory and infectious diseases, joint problems, abdominal pain, and even cancer.


Economic Value: Based on preliminary calculations, cultivating Purple Ginger in intercropped areas under forest canopies (with a density of 5,000 to 8,000 plants per hectare) can yield approximately 700 to 1,000 kilograms of rhizomes after 2 years. With the current average selling price of 500,000 VND/kg, farmers can earn an income of 350 to 500 million VND per hectare. Thus, on average, each hectare of Purple Ginger can generate an annual income of 125 to 250 million VND. This provides an ideal opportunity for ethnic communities in highland provinces, particularly for households engaged in forest care and management under contractual agreements, to increase their income, alleviate poverty, and work towards prosperity.

Zingiber purpureum Roscoe, plays a crucial role in the culinary traditions of the local highland communities.


Purple ginger adds a distinct flavor and aroma to various dishes, enriching the cultural heritage and culinary identity of the region. The spicy and aromatic characteristics of wild ginger make it a prized ingredient in traditional recipes, sauces, and beverages.

Furthermore, Purple ginger has significant medicinal value. Its rhizomes contain bioactive compounds that possess anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antimicrobial properties. It is used in traditional herbal remedies to alleviate various ailments, including digestive issues, pain, and respiratory conditions. The medicinal applications of purple ginger have been passed down through generations and remain an important part of local healthcare practices.

Efforts are being made to raise awareness about the importance of purple ginger conservation and the need for responsible harvesting practices. Sustainable cultivation methods are being promoted to ensure a steady supply of purple ginger r while preserving its natural habitat. This includes establishing protected areas, implementing regulations on wild ginger harvesting, and supporting local communities in sustainable agriculture practices.

Zingiber purpureum Roscoe, plays a crucial role in the culinary traditions of the local highland communities.
Zingiber purpureum Roscoe, plays a crucial role in the culinary traditions of the local highland communities.
Zingiber purpureum Roscoe, a precious plant species found in the highland regions of Vietnam, holds significant cultural, culinary, and medicinal value. Its unique flavors, diverse applications, and traditional uses make it an important part of the local communities' heritage. However, urgent conservation efforts are required to safeguard the future of wild ginger and maintain the delicate ecological balance of the regions where it thrives.



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