Alpinia zerumbet (Pers.) B.L.Burtt & R.M.Sm., Notes Roy. Bot. Gard. Edinburgh 31: 204 1972. (syn. Alpinia cristata Griff.; Alpinia fimbriata Gagnep.; Alpinia fluvitialis Hayata; Alpinia schumanniana Valeton; Alpinia speciosa (J.C.Wendl.) K.Schum. [Illegitimate]; Alpinia speciosa var. longiramosa Gagnep.; Amomum nutans (Andrews) Schult.; Catimbium nutans (Andrews) Juss. ex Lestib.; Catimbium speciosum (J.C.Wendl.) Holttum; Costus zerumbet Pers.; Languas schumanniana (Valeton) Sasaki; Languas speciosa (J.C.Wendl.) Small; Languas speciosa Merr.; Renealmia nutans Andrews; Renealmia spectabilis Rusby; Zerumbet speciosum J.C.Wendl.);
S. Japan to Taiwan, S. China to N. Peninsula Malaysia: Bangladesh, Cambodia, China South-Central, China Southeast, Hainan, Japan, Laos, Malaya, Myanmar, Nansei-shoto, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam; Introduced into: Ascension, Azores, Bolivia, Canary Is., Caroline Is., Cook Is., Cuba, Dominican Republic, Fiji, Florida, Haiti, Hawaii, Honduras, Leeward Is., New Caledonia, Ogasawara-shoto, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Solomon Is., St.Helena, Trinidad-Tobago, Tubuai Is., Windward Is. as per POWO;
Common name: Shell Ginger, Light galangal, Pink porcelain lily • Manipuri: Kanghoo • Bengali: Punnag champa
al-PIN-ee-uh — named for Prospero Alpino, Italian botanist
ZER-um-bet — derived from a Persian word

Alpinia zerumbet (Light galangal, Pink porcelain lily, Shell flower, Shell ginger, Variegated ginger, Butterfly ginger, Japanese: gettō; Okinawan: Sannin; Chinese: 艳山姜; pinyin: yàn shānjiāng, Chinese: 月桃; pinyin: yuetao) is a Chinese perennial plant of the ginger family (Zingiberaceae).

Native to eastern Asia, this plant is a rhizomatous, ever green tropical perennial that grows in upright clumps 8–10 feet tall in tropical climates. It bears funnel-formed flowers. Flowers have white or pink perianths with yellow labella with red spots and stripes.[2] There are three stamens, but only one has pollen. There is one pistil. The fruit is globose with many striations. In more typical conditions, it reaches 4–8 feet tall in the green house, and 3–4 feet tall, as a house plant.[3] It is called a shell ginger or shell flower most commonly, because its individual pink flowers, especially when in bud, resemble sea shells.
Alpinia zerumbet is best grown in rich medium-wet, to wet well drained soils in full sun to part shade. Afternoon shade in hot summer climates, is recommended. Indoors, the plant must have bright light and humid conditions. Flowering rarely occurs before the second year.
The plant’s long leaf blades are still used for wrapping zongzi. In Okinawa, Japan, A. zerumbet is known in the local dialect as Sannin, or in Japanese as Getto (ゲットウ). Its leaves are sold as herbal tea and are also used to flavour noodles and wrap mochi rice cakes. Its tea has hypotensive, diuretic and antiulcerogenic properties. Decoction of leaves has been used during bathing to alleviate fevers.[citation needed]. The leaves and rhizomes have been proven effective against HIV-1 integrase and neuraminidase enzymes,[5] and has also shown anti-diabetic effect through inhibitions of formation of advanced glycation end products.[6] Besides, the antioxidant activities of different parts of Alpinia zerumbet has already been reported.[7][8]
(From Wikipedia on 30.8.13)

amit uid 2 gingers 262011:
Sending photos of some zingiberaceae member I guess Alpinia sp. collected
from Dehradun, Uttarakhand. Leaves and rhizomes aromatic.

I think this is Alpinia zerumbet ( Pers. ) B.L.Burtt & R.M.Sm.

But It was earlier named in my garden as A. nutans is there any possibility of being A. nutans can you suggest me the difference between two as I have not seen it in flowering since 3 years.

Before we finalize the identification please check on the width of leaves and other things it could well be Alpinia calcarata
Alpinia calcarata                                              Alpinia zerumbet
Plants up to 5 ft tall                                         Plants up to 12 feet tall
Leaves sessile                                                  Petiole 1-1.5 cm long
leaves 20-30 cm long, 2-4 cm broad              Leaves up to 60 cm long, 10 cm broad
Inflorescence dense, erect                               Inflorescence pendulous, hairy
Corolla lobes  white                                         Corolla lobes milky white with pink tip
Flower lip white variegated with red,3-4 cm    Flower lip crinkled, yellow variegated with red and brown, 4 -6 cm long
Capsule ribbed                                                
Capsule not ribbed
Alpinia calacarata is an Indian Plant, likely to be more commonly planted. A. zerumbet is E. Asian plant, commonly planted in warmer regions
Here is information from Hortus Third: not known in cultivation, the name often used in error for A. zerumbet. under A. zerumbet it writes: Has often been offered under erroneous name of A. nutans
Picture link

I had the plant in vegetative characters and I remember when I collected the plant it was well over 8 ft in height, petioles I have measured is ca 1.0 cm long and leaves dimensions are 44 x 9.5 cm so now is it indicating towards Alpinia zerumbet. I have not seen it flowering in my garden here at pantnagar for last 3-yrs.

Dec 2011
Kindly Id this potted plant at a private society at Pune
Leaves Type/ Shape/ Size- green with stripes
no flowers or fruits seen
?Alpinia zerumbet variegata

Alpinia zerumbet

Alpinia zerumbet (Pers.) B. L. Burtt & R. M. Sm. ‘variegata’
Variegated Pink galangal,
Photographed from Herbal Garden New Delhi, pl. validate

Nice upload of variegated A. zerumbet

Araceae, Arecaceae and Zingiberaceae Fortnight: August 1 to 14, 2014 : Zingiberaceae : Alpinia zerumbet : Mumbai : 140814 : AK-25 : 4 posts by 3 authors. Attachments (3).
Alpinia zerumbet, seen in Maharashtra Nature Park, Mumbai in August,2012.

Excellent photos

Araceae, Arecaceae and Zingiberaceae Fortnight – Araceae- 23 : 3 posts by 2 authors. Attachments (3).
mailing few shot of Alpinia zerumbet variegata.

Yes …, I photographed same plant from Punjabi Bagh Herbal Garden, Delhi.

Prof. Sahib most of these plants either in my house or in my neighbourhood.


IBG today : Araceae : unknown03 : 7 posts by 3 authors. Attachments (5).
This is possibly variegated Alpinia zerumbet (Pers.) B.L.Burtt & R.M.Sm.
(Canna ‘stuttgart’ looks somewhat similar but with longer petiole and darker texture)

Please ignore the link on “R.M.Sm.”, it was not created by me!

wonder if it will flower?
only the botanist whose experiment this is knows
or is also waiting to see what emerges like the rest of us.

yes, Alpinia zerumbet var. variegata

There is flower at – link

AAZ Fortnight :: Zingiberaceae :: SMP1:: Alpinia zerumbet. Lonavala : 2 posts by 2 authors. Attachments (1).
Alpinia zerumbet.
Hope the ID is correct. Please validate.

Yes seems to be your ID is right

Araceae, Arecaceae and Zingiberaceae Fortnight: August 1 to 14, 2014 : Zingiberaceae : Alpinia zerumbet : Kenya : 310814 : AK-124 : 1 post by 1 author. Attachments (3).
Common names Shell Ginger, Pink Porcelain Lily.
Pictures taken in Jan, 2009.

Araceae, Arecaceae and Zingiberaceae Fortnight: August 1 to 14, 2014 :: Alpinia Sp. (NSJ-12) : 7 posts by 5 authors. Attachments (3).
Alpinia Sp from Public garden, Hyderabad (June 11). Pl validate

Might be Alpinia calcarata

I think it is Alpinia zerumbet Variegata’

Ornamental For ID : Jijamata Udyan,Mumbai : 22SEP14 : AK-31 :5 posts by 3 authors. Attachments (2).
Cultivated, ornamental plant at Jijamata Udyan, on 16/8/14.

Is it not Alpinea

I think you are right.
This should be some Variegated Alpinia Species.

Alpinia zerumbet ‘variegated’

Attached are pictures of Alpinia zerumbet captured at MNP in April 2014.
Requested to please validate the ID.

ALPINIA ZERUMBET ( COLLAGE ) : 4 posts by 4 authors. Attachments (1)
Attaching a collage of Alpinia zerumbet.

Wow this is nice collage …! Larval host plant of Notocrypta curvifascia, Restricted Demon.
Can you please mail me individual photos for IFB website.

valid identification of zinger : 7 posts by 3 authors. Attachments (2)
All my dear members please valid ID for this zinger
Habitat : coorg
Western ghat
Date of flowering: November 2016

Alpinia zerumbet

Alpinia zerumbet. it is cultivated species


Alpinia calcarata (Haw.) Roscoe ?? : 4 posts by 2 authors. Attachments (6)
Location: Motel du Mugling, Kurintar, Nepal 
Date: 13 July 2017
Altitude: 900 ft.
Syn : Alpinia bracteata Roscoe  

Alpinia zerumbet

Thank you … Initially I thought of it the same but it is not listed in Nepal. Anyway it could be introduced.

Alpinia zerumbet ‘Variegata’ :: TMC Biodiversity Park :: 22 APR 18 : 2 posts by 2 authors.
TMC Biodiversity Park  Thane
Date: April 22, 2018 … Altitude: about 15 m (50 feet) asl
Alpinia zerumbet ‘Variegata’  

More close to Alpinia zerumbet : 4 posts by 3 authors. Attachments (1)
Please identify the Zingerbiraceae planted in garden.
Alpinia zerumbet :: Virajpet, Coorg :: 10 NOV 19 : 1 post by 1 author. 3 images.
… at a resort  in Virajpet, Coorg
Date: November 10, 2019 … Altitude: about 910 m (3000 ft) a
Alpinia zerumbet  (Pers.) B.L.Burtt & R.M.Sm.

Arecaceae, Araceae, Zingiberaceae Fortnight 1-14 Aug 2014: Alpinia malaccensis (Zingiberaceae) from Uttarakhand_DSR_10 : 8 posts by 4 authors. Attachments (4).
Alpinia malaccensis (Burm.f.) Roscoe (Zingiberaceae) is a planted species in Pantnagar.
Images include a flower split open, fruits (mature and immature) and flowering.

Excellent presentation … thanks for sharing this beauty…

It is not A. malaccensis, seems to be A. smithiae  or A. zerumbet

Thank you … for suggesting the alternative ID.
As I remember A.smithiae is a new species reported from South India and mentioned as endemic to the area. I was looking for the paper in which it was described by Dr Sabu and Mangaly in 1991 but could not get it.
If you have the copy of it please send so that I may verify with my specimens.

It is Alpinia zerumbet.

Alpinia zerumbet usually has pendent spikes and capsules are distinctly ridged which is not the case here.

After repeated confirmation as A. zerumbet by Dr Sabu, the expert of the Family Zingiberaceae in SE Asia, I am taking it as A. zerumbet.
Thank you … for re-examination.


ID please!:
Please identify enclosed species of Alpinia (Zingiberaceae). It is cultivated in Pantnagar (Uttarakhand). Pseudostems up to 2.5m.

Alpinia zerumbet

But A.zerumbet (shell ginger) have pendent panicles! Fruits are also different!

It is Alpinia smithiae

Alpinia zerumbet as per discussions at Arecaceae, Araceae, Zingiberaceae Fortnight 1-14 Aug 2014: Alpinia malaccensis (Zingiberaceae) from Uttarakhand_DSR_10


Alpinia zerumbet (Pers.) B.L.Burtt & R.M.Sm.: 4 very high res. images.

Location: Miraya Greens Resort, Bengaluru, India
Date: 25 March 2023
Altitude: 940m.
Habitat : Kultivated


Yes, as per images at