Skip to main content Accessibility help

Alpinia (Zingiberaceae): A Proposed New Infrageneric Classification

  • R. M. Smith


K. Schumann's classification of Alpinia (Zingiberaceae), which subdivided the genus into five subgenera and 27 sections, was based, in the main, on the character of the secondary bracts (bracteoles). It is here proposed that the subgenera be reduced to two—Alpinia (7 sections and 10 subsections) and Dieramalpinia (4 sections and 2 subsections), and that the character of the labellum (petaloid or non-petaloid) be used as the main differentiating criterion. Such a classification shows the centre of distribution of subgen. Alpinia, in which the labellum is petaloid, to lie north of the equator; subgen. Dieramalpinia, in which the labellum is non-petaloid, or rarely so at the apex only, is now excluded from continental Asia and has its main concentration east of Wallace's line with its greatest number of species in New Guinea. Stigma types have been examined when possible and, so far, they substantiate the proposed classification.

Keys to the subgenera, sections and subsections, together with distribution maps are provided. In Appendix 1 all published names in Alpinia are listed and annotated. Appendix 2 gives a key to the terminally-flowered genera of subfamily Alpineae; this is followed by five new names and six new combinations in Alpinia while A.cordylinoides is transferred to Riedelia.



Hide All
Burtt, B. L. & Smith, R. M. (1972a). Key species in the taxonomic history of Zingiberaceae. Notes from the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh 31: 177227.
Burtt, B. L. & Smith, R. M. (1972b). Notes on Malesian Zingiberaceae. Op. cit.1 307316.
Burtt, B. L. & Smith, R. M. (1972c). Monoecism in Alpinia. Op. cit. 32: 2943.
Burtt, B. L. & Smith, R. M. (1975). The Rediscovery of Cenolophon rubrum. Op. cit. 34: 107112.
Burtt, B. L. & Smith, R. M. (1983). Zingiberaceae. In Dasssanyake, M. D. (ed.). Revised Handbook of the Flora of Ceylon 488532.
Hayata, B. (1915). Scitamineae. Icones Plantarum Formosanarum 5: 213228.
Hayata, B. (1920). Scitamineae. Op. cit. 9: 118124.
Holttum, R. E. (1950). The Zingiberaceae of the Malay Peninsula. Gardens Bulletin Singapore 13: 1248.
Loesener, T. (1930). Zingiberaceae. Die Natürlichen Pfianzenfamilien 2, 15A: 611624.
Merrill, E. D., (1922). Zingiberaceae. Enumeration of Philippine Plants 228247.
Ridley, H. N. (1909). The Scitamineae of the Philippine Islands. Philippine Journal of Science 4: 155199.
Schumann, K. (1904). Zingiberaceae. In Engler, A. (ed.) Das Pflanzenreich 20. Berlin.
Smith, R. M. (1975). A preliminary review of the large bracteate species of Alpinia. Notes from the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh 34: 149182.
Smith, R. M. (1977). Additional notes on Alpinia sect. Myriocrater. Op. cit. 35: 195208.
Smith, R. M. (1978). Alpinia sect. Pycnanthus and its New Guinea species. Op. cit. 36: 273292.
Smith, R. M. (1980). A new genus of Zingiberaceae from N Burma. Op. cit. 38: 1317.
Smith, R. M. (1982). Systematic notes on, and new species of, Zingiberaceae of the G. Mulu National Park. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 85: 3673.
Smith, R. M. (1989). A new Alpinia from Sabah. Notes from the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh 45: 341343.
Trimen, H. (1898). Scitamineae. Handbook of the Flora of Ceylon 4: 238265.
Valeton, T. (1913). Zingiberaceae. Nova Guinea (Botanique) 8: 923988.
Valeton, T. (1914). Die Zingiberaceen Deutsch-Neu-Guinea. Botanische Jahrbücher für Systematik Pflanzengeschichte und Pflanzengeographie 52: 40100.
Wu, Te-Lin (1981). Zingiberaceae. Flora Reipublicae Popularis Sinicae 16: 26153.

Related content

Powered by UNSILO

Alpinia (Zingiberaceae): A Proposed New Infrageneric Classification

  • R. M. Smith


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed.