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Zingiberaceae M. Adanson, Fam. Pl. 2: 61. Jul-Aug 1763.


Jenn-Che Wang

Perennial herbs, aromatic. Stems subterranean, fleshy tuberous or rhizomatous, the leaf sheaths connate into an aerial pseudostem. Leaves distichously or spirally arranged, simple, the outer ones usually reduced to sheaths and bladeless; leaf sheath open or closed, ligulate; leaf blade lanceolate to narrowly strap-shaped, margin entire. Inflorescence a thyrse, sometimes a raceme or spike, terminal on pseudostem or on a separate shoot arising from rhizome, often with conspicuous bracts and bracteoles. Flowers bisexual, zygomorphic. Calyx tubular, apex 3-toothed. Corolla tubular at base, tube longer than calyx-tube, distally 3-lobed. Stamens or staminodes 6, 2-whorled, only the median one of inner whorl fertile. Two lateral staminodes of inner whorl fused to form labellum. Two lateral staminodes of outer whorl petaloid, or reduced to small teeth, or absent. Median staminode of outer whorl always absent. Fertile stamen with filament, grooved, grasping the style; anther 2-loculed, introrse, dehiscing longitudinally. Ovary inferior, usually 3-loculed with axile placentation; ovules numerous; style 1, slender; stigma funnel-shape, often ciliate on margin. Stylodes 2, reduced to nectaries at the base of floral tube. Fruits capsular, sometimes fleshy or indehiscent. Seeds few to many, usually arillate.

A pantropical family of about 50 genera and 1300 species, four genera and 16 species with two varieties in Taiwan.

Burtt, B. L. & R. M. Smith 1972. Key species in the taxonomic history of Zingiberaceae. Notes Roy. Bot. Gard. Edinburgh 31: 177- 227. Kress, W. J., L. M. Prince, and K. J. Williams. 2002. The phylogeny and a new classification of the gingers (Zingiberaceae): evidence from molecular data. Amer. J. Bot. 89(1):1682-1696.

1 Leaves spirally arranged, sheath closed   Costus
+ Leaves distichously arranged, sheath opened   (2)
2 (1) Inflorescence on a separate shoot raising from rhizome   Zingiber
+ Inflorescence terminal on pseudostem   (3)
3 (2) Lateral staminodes petaloid   Hedychium
+ Lateral staminodes forming small teeth at base of labellum or absent   (4)
4 (3) Leaves apex flagellate twisting; ligule rounded; labellum spit to two subulate lobe; bracteole absent   Vanoverberghia
+ Leaves apex acute or acuminate, rarely flagellate twisting; ligule often bilobed; labellum lobes various; bracteole usually present   Alpinia

Lower Taxa


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