Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is a flowering plant in the family Zingiberaceae whose rhizome, ginger root or simplyginger, is widely used as a spice or a folk medicine.
It is a herbaceous perennial which grows annual stems about a meter tall bearing narrow green leaves and yellow flowers. Ginger is indigenous to south China, and was spread eventually to the Spice Islands, other parts of Asia and subsequently toWest Africa. Ginger was exported to Europe via India in the first century AD as a result of the lucrative spice trade and was used extensively by the Romans. India is now the largest producer of ginger.
Other members of the family Zingiberaceae include turmeric, cardamom, and galangal. The distantly related dicots in the genus Asarum are commonly called wild ginger because of their similar taste.