WHITE’S GINGER or TONIC ROOT
Mondia whitei is a member of the Apocynaceae family and is a native of East Africa.
White’s ginger is truly a versatile and magical African herb – Mondia whitei is both medicinally widely used and an excellent garden subject where a climber is needed for providing a shaded area.
Mondia whitei is a perennial, woody, rather robust and vigorous climber that grows from a large tuberous rootstock. The roots are aromatic and apparently taste like ginger or liquorice and have an aroma reminding you of vanilla. The reddish purple corolla lobes are 14 mm long and usually have a green margin. Plants flower from late spring through to early autumn. It has become rare in the wild throughout its distribution range and is now of conservation value. A taxon is endangered when evidence indicates that it has a very high risk of extinction in the wild.
The main threat to the species is over exploitation by local communities for subsistence and commercial purposes. It is reported to be extinct from the wild in its main area of exploitation in the Tugela River in South Africa. In Kenya it is among the most heavily exploited species and is reported to have disappeared from the central province due to both over exploitation and an increase in demand for agricultural land. Because the roots are harvested the plant is destroyed when utilised.
ENJOY THIS RARE CLIMBER!