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Alpinia caerulea


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Genus Alpinia

Rhizomes creeping, thick. Pseudostems many, well developed, rarely absent. Leaves many, rarely 1--4; leaf blade oblong or lanceolate. Inflorescence a terminal panicle, raceme , or spike, dense or lax , covered by 1--3 spatulate involucral bracts when immature ; bracts (when present) open to base , rarely hooded , each subtending 1 flower or a cincinnus of 2 to many flowers; bracteoles open to base or tubular , rarely hooded, sometimes absent. Calyx usually tubular, sometimes split on 1 side. Corolla central lobe ± hooded, usually wider than lateral lobes. Lateral staminodes small or absent, subulate or toothlike, adnate to base of labellum. Labellum often showy, usually larger than corolla lobes, sometimes inconspicuous, margin variously lobed or entire. Filament present or absent; connective crested or not. Ovary usually 3-loculed and placentation axile . Stigma usually well expanded, sometimes clavate , rarely geniculate . Stylodes often massive. Capsule usually globose , dry or fleshy , indehiscent or irregularly dehiscent . Seeds numerous , often angled , arillate .

About 230 species: tropical and subtropical Asia, Australia, and Pacific Islands; 51 species (35 endemic) in China.[1]


Typically found at an altitude of 0 to 5,308 meters (0 to 17,415 feet).[2]


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Name Status: Accepted Name .

Last scrutiny: 21-Jun-2005

Similar Species

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Members of the genus Alpinia

ZipcodeZoo has pages for 31 species, subspecies, varieties, forms, and cultivars in this genus:

A. aquatica (Aquatic Galangal) · A. bambusifolia (Bamboo-Leaved Galangal) · A. calcarata (Indian Ginger) · A. carolinensis (Ginger) · A. chinensis (Chinese Galangal) · A. coerulea (Wild Ginger) · A. coriandriodora (Fragrant Galangal) · A. elatior (Torch-Ginger) · A. formosana (Ornamental Ginger) · A. formosana 'Pinstripe' (Ornamental Ginger) · A. galanga (False Galangal) · A. globosa (Round Chinese Cardamom) · A. graminifolia (Narrow-Leaved Galangal) · A. hainanensis (Hainan Galangal) · A. henryi (Small Galangal) · A. japonica (Japanese Ginger) · A. japonica 'Extra Spicy' (Japanese Ginger) · A. katsumadai (Katsumadai Galangal) · A. kwangsiensis (Kwangsi Galangal) · A. mutica (Small Shell Ginger) · A. nigra (Black-Fruited Galangal) · A. nutans (Cinnamon Ginger) · A. officinarum (Lesser Galangal) · A. purpurata (Red Ginger) · A. purpurata 'Eileen McDonald' (Eileen Mcdonald Red Ginger) · A. racimigera (Raceme Ginger) · A. sanderae (Ginger) · A. vittata (Striped Narrow Leaf Ginger) · A. zerumbet (Pink Porcelain Lily) · A. zerumbet 'Variegata' (Shell Ginger) · A. zingiberina (Thai Ginger)

More Info

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Further Reading

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Data Sources

Accessed through GBIF Data Portal March 17, 2008:



  1. Delin Wu & Kai Larsen "Alpinia". in Flora of China Vol. 24 Page 333. Published by Science Press (Beijing) and Missouri Botanical Garden Press. Online at [back]
  2. Mean = 304.790 meters (999.967 feet), Standard Deviation = 440.030 based on 24,901 observations. Altitude information for each observation from British Oceanographic Data Centre. [back]
Last Revised: 2/1/2015