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Kaempferia Linn.


Description from Flora of China

Rhizomes fleshy, tuberous; roots often bearing small tubers. Pseudostem short or obsolete. Leaves 1 to few; ligule usually small or absent; petiole short; leaf blade suborbicular to filiform, sometimes variegated or abaxially purple. Inflorescences terminal on pseudostems or on separate shoots arising from rhizomes (when appearing before pseudostems), capitate, spirally few to many flowered; bracts 1-flowered; bracteoles small, apically 2-lobed or sometimes 2-cleft to base. Calyx tubular, split on 1 side, apex unequally 2- or 3-toothed. Corolla tube equaling or much longer than calyx; lobes spreading or reflexed, lanceolate, subequal. Lateral staminodes petaloid. Labellum usually white or lilac, sometimes marked with different color near base, showy, apically 2-lobed to 2-cleft to base. Filament very short or absent; connective extended into crest exserted from throat of flower, entire or 2-cleft. Ovary 3-loculed. Capsule globose or ellipsoid; pericarp thin. Seeds subglobose to ellipsoid; aril lacerate.

About 50 species: tropical Asia; six species (one endemic) in China.


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