red ginger
Curved-stem ginger in Paithal forest. Photo: Mathrubhumi

Naduvil: Curved-stem ginger (Chempoovan Malayinji in local language) has painted the wilderness in red. The red coloured ginger variety is ready to harvest in Paithal forest and the rubber plantations by the hillside.

The deep red ginger has three spikes, and the seed is placed in the middle of the spikes. It looks like a flower in first sight. Scientific name of the plant is Zingiber Cernnum.

The tribal community calls the plant as ‘Channakoova’ or ‘Kattukoova’. They also use the ginger as a food. It is a favourite food of wild boars. The old generation used to make smoke with the ginger to get rid of mosquitos.

Curved-stem ginger is commonly found in the Western Ghats. The plant is found aplenty in the moist evergreen and semi-evergreen forests. It is also found in the states of Karnataka and Maharashtra.