2. Zingiber officinale Roscoe, Trans. Linn. Soc. London, Bot. 8: 348. 1807.
Amomum zingiber Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 1: 1. 1753; Zingiber sichuanense Z. Y. Zhu et al.
Rhizomes branched, yellowish inside, thickened, fleshy, strongly aromatic. Pseudostems 50--100 cm. Leaves sessile; ligule slightly 2-lobed, 2--4 mm, membranous; leaf blade lanceolate or linear-lanceolate, 15--30 × 2--2.5 cm, glabrescent. Inflorescences arising from rhizomes, ovoid, 4--5 × ca. 1.5 cm; peduncle to 25 cm; bracts pale green, sometimes yellowish at margin, ovate, ca. 2.5 cm, apex mucronate; bracteoles equaling bracts. Calyx ca. 1 cm. Corolla yellowish green; tube 2--2.5 cm; lobes lanceolate, ca. 1.8 cm. Central lobe of labellum with purple stripe and cream blotches, oblong-obovate, shorter than corolla lobes; lateral lobes ovate, ca. 6 mm, free nearly to base. Stamen dark purple; anther ca. 9 mm; connective appendage curved, ca. 7 mm. Fl. Oct. 2 n = 22*.
Cultivated. Anhui, Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hainan, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangxi, Shaanxi, Shandong, Sichuan, Taiwan, Yunnan, Zhejiang [native origin unknown; widely cultivated in the tropics and subtropics].
Widely cultivated for medicine and spice.