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Flora of Taiwan | Family List | Zingiberaceae

Alpinia Roxb., Asiat. Res. 11:350. 1810. K. Schumann in Engler, Pflanzenfam. 20(?. 46): 378. 1904.


Terrestrial, perennial herbs. Rhizomes stout, branched. Pseudostems distinct. Leaves lanceolate to oblong, acute or acuminate at apex, glabrous or hairy on one side or both; ligule usually bilobed, sometimes entire. Inflorescence spicate, racemose, or a thyrse, terminal on pseudostem, protected by one or more large spathe-like bracts when young; rachis glabrous or villose. Flowers protected by bracts and/or bracteoles; calyx tubular; corolla united below, 3-lobed above, one lobe usually larger than the others; labellum ovate, rhomboid or round, white or yellow, usually with radial red stripes toward the margins; lateral staminodes subulate, or absent; fertile stamen single, filament usually band-form, anther large, rectangular; stigma expanded or clavate; stylodes (epigynous glands) two, columnar or massive; ovary trilocular with axile placentation. Fruits capsular, sometimes indehiscent, commonly spherical or ellipsoid. Seeds arillate, often angular.

About 230 species in the tropics of the Old World, 12 species and two varieties in Taiwan.

Smith, R. M. 1990. Alpinia (Zingiberaceae): a proposed new infrageneric classification. Edinburgh J. Bot. 47: 1 -75. Yang J. J. & J. C. Wang 1998. The systematic study of Taiwanese Alpinia (Zingiberaceae). In S. T. Chiu & C. I. Peng (eds.), Proc. Cross-Strait Symp. Florist. Diversity Conservation. pp. 183-197.

1 Inflorescence branched, with two ascending lateral axes; labellum smaller than corolla-lobes   Alpinia flabellata
+ Inflorescence unbranched, only a single central axis; labellum larger than corolla- lobes   2
2 Inflorescence a thyrse with lateral few-flowered cincinnus, at least the lower part   3
+ Inflorescence racemose or spicate   9
3 Fruits indehiscent; labellum white   4
+ Fruits capsular, dehiscent loculicidally; labellum yellow   6
4 Plant villose, corolla-lobe red   Alpinia japonica
+ Plant glabrous, corolla-lobe white or green-white   5
5 Labellum ovate, with very short claw and 2 red stripes at center   Alpinia intermedia
+ Labellum oblong, with long claw, without red stripes at center   Alpinia galanga
6 Labellum usually>4 cm long, deep yellow   7
+ Labellum<4 cm long, yellowish   8
7 Inflorescence usually pendulous; fruits distinctly costate, glabrous or villose   Alpinia zerumbet
+ Inflorescence curvingly ascending; fruits faintly costate, covered with fine spinous hairs   Alpinia tonrokuensis
8 Inflorescence rachis slender; labellum explanate   Alpinia formosana
+ Inflorescence rachis thick; labellum involute   Alpinia mesanthera
9 Inflorescence covered with spinous hair; labellum yellow or yellowish, >3 cm long   10
+ Inflorescence pubescent; labellum white or pink, <3 cm. long    
10 Labellum deep yellow, >4 cm long; fruits orange, with 60-120 seeds   Alpinia uraiensis
+ Labellum yellowish, 3-4 cm long; fruits orange-red, with 15-30 seeds   Alpinia kusshakuensis
11 Inflorescence 8-15 cm long   12
+ Inflorescence 15-25 cm long   13
12 Flowers without bracteoles   Alpinia pricei
+ Flowers with bracteoles   Alpinia pricei var. sessiliflora
13 Leaf glabrous except for margin and below midrib   Alpinia shimadai
+ Leaf densly pubescent below   Alpinia shimadai var. kawakamii

  • List of lower taxa


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