5. Alpinia zerumbet (Persoon) B.L. Burtt & R.M. Smith ZINGIBERACEAE

Shell ginger

It is not certain where this plant was originally native, but somewhere in tropical South or South-East Asia. In this region, as in China, it is widely grown in gardens as an ornamental, and in temperate regions in conservatories, for its attractive shell-like flowers that are borne in drooping inflorescences. The specific name ‘zerumbet’ is Persian and has probably been applied to several different species of the ginger family.

Hand coloured lithograph of Alpinia zerumbet from Roscoe’s Monandrian Plants


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