Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Advanced Search

Kaempferia L.
Sp. Pl. 1: 2 (1753); Kam Yee Kiew, Notes R. Bot. Gard. Edinb. 38: 1-12 (1980).

Description:
     Low herbs with short, fleshy rhizome; roots often tuberous. Stem with few (often 2) leaves, erect or appressed to the soil. Inflorescence short, terminal, arising in the center of the radical leaves, rarely on a separate leafless shoot, appearing before the leaves; bracts each subtending 1 flower; bracteole open to the base, usually bifid; flowers white or violet; calyx tubular, unequally dentate; corolla tube as long as or mostly much longer than the calyx; labellum bifid, spreading, together with the 2 petaloid staminodes often creating a markedly quadrate appearance; filament very short, crest large, entire or 2-dentate, reflexed; ovary in completely 3-locular. Capsule subglobose; seeds with lacerate aril. 2n = 22, 24, 33, 36, 44, 45, 54. (From Kubitzki, et al., pp. 485-86)

Geographical Distribution:
     Species of Kaempferia are widespread in tropical Asia.

Taxonomic Diversity:
     Comprises about 40 species.

Kaempferia rotunda Linn.
Kaempferia candida Wall.
Kaempferia galanga L.
Kaempferia gilbertii Hort.

[ TOP ]