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Alpinia (Zingiberaceae): A Proposed New Infrageneric Classification

  • R. M. Smith

Abstract

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.

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References

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Burtt, B. L. & Smith, R. M. (1972c). Monoecism in Alpinia. Op. cit. 32: 2943.
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Alpinia (Zingiberaceae): A Proposed New Infrageneric Classification

  • R. M. Smith

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