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Zingiberaceae

SHAHINA A. GHAZANFAR and ROSEMARY M. SMITH


National Herbarium, Pakistan Agricultural Research Council, Islamabad. and Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh, Scotland.

Rhizomatous perennial herbs. Leaf shoots with few to many distichously arranged blades, the sheaths usually open on the side opposite the lamina, ligulate. Inflorescence terminal on the leaf shoot or borne on a separate leafless shoot. Flowers solitary in the axils of bracts or in cincinni, with or without bracteoles (secondary bracts). Calyx tubular. Corolla tube usually slender, divided into 3 subequal petals. Labellum (anterior staminodes) adnate at the base to the corolla tube, showy. Lateral staminodes petaloid (in the Pakistan plants), either free from the labellum or connate to it (Zingiber). Fertile stamens one only, anther sometimes developing into an appendage (anther-crest). Style linear, held between the anther-thecae. Ovary inferior, usually trilocular with axile placentation. Epigynous glands (‘stylodes’) forming 2 erect outgrowths on top of the ovary. Fruit a dehiscent capsule. Seeds arillate.

About 45 genera and 1000 species, occurring mainly in the tropics of the Old World, with some representatives in the New World tropics, and subtropical Asia. Only one genus Roscoea, represented by a single species, Roscoea alpine, is native in Pakistan. Curcuma and Zingiber are cultivated for culinary and medicinal purposes.

Zingiberaceae is of great economic importance as a spice family and includes arrowroot, cardamon, ginger, kafur-kachri and turmeric.

Species dubia

Hedychium coronarium Koenig in Retz. Obs. Bot. 3:73.1783; Stewart, Ann. Cat. Vasc. Pl. W. Pak. & Kashm. 66. 1972.

1-1.5 m high. Leaves 2-30 x 3-5 cm, lanceolate, acuminate. Flowers fragrant, white, in dense long spikes. Bracts 3-4-flowered. Calyx tubular. Corolla tube c. 7 cm, with linear segments. Labellum deeply bilobed, lateral staminodes oblong-lanceolate.

Distributed throughout India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia.

Reported by Stewart, l.c. from Wah Garden, Attock District, but I have not seen any material.

Acknowledgements: We are grateful to the United States Department of Agriculture for financing this research. under PL-480. We are also grateful to Mr. I. C. Hedge, Herbarium, Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh, for going through the manuscript and giving valuable suggestions. We are also grateful to Mrs. E. J. Cowley, Herbarium, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, for the corrections on Roscoea.


1 Plants of small stature, up to c. 25 cm tall; flowers purple; native   1 Roscoea
+ Plants much larger, up to c. 1.5 cm tall; flowers yellow, or yellow with a dull purple, yellow spotted labellum; cultivated   (2)
       
2 (1) Leaves lanceolate to lanceolate-elliptic, usually much more than 30 cm long; leaf shoot not markedly frond-like; bracts adnate to each other in lower part, forming pouches; rhizome yellow-orange within   2 Curcuma
+ Leaves linear-lanceolate, up to 30 cm long; leaf shoot frond-like; bracts free to the base; rhizome yellow-white within   3 Zingiber

Lower Taxa


 

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