Little information is available on seed dormancy of members of the Zingiberales and especially the Zingiberaceae. Our aim was to investigate the dormancy breaking and germination requirements of Alpinia galanga in vitro with a minimum number of seeds, using the move-along experiment. The mass of imbibed seeds increased by 17.5% in 1 d, showing that seeds were water permeable. The best germination in the move-along experiment (86.7%) was obtained when seeds were exposed to the sequence of temperature regimes that began with winter (20/10°C), and seeds began to germinate after 6 weeks at this temperature regime. Seeds dry stored for 4 months and then incubated at the sequence of temperature regimes that began with summer (30/20°C) started germinating in the sixth week at this temperature regime and had germinated to 93.3% after 18 weeks. Seeds kept dry for 4 months and then treated with 50 mg l−1 gibberellic acid (GA3) began to germinate at 30/20°C after 2 weeks. Control seeds incubated continuously at 20/10, 25/15 or 30/20°C germinated to 80.6, 77.8 and 60.0%, respectively. When incubated at 15, 20, 25 or 30°C, the ideal temperature for embryo growth was 20°C. Since GA3 and dry storage can break non-deep physiological dormancy and embryos grew during warm stratification, seeds of A. galanga have non-deep simple morphophysiological dormancy (MPD). This is the first report of non-deep simple MPD in the Zingiberaceae.