Alpinia zerumbet

(Persoon) B. L. Burtt & R. M. Smith

Notes from the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh 31: 204. 1972.

Common names: Shellflower
Basionym: Costus zerumbet Persoon Syn. Pl. 1: 3. 1805
Synonyms: Languas speciosum (J. C. Wendland) Small Zerumbet speciosum J. C. Wendland
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 22.
Please click on the illustration for a higher resolution version.


Leaf blade lanceolate to narrowly elliptical, (20–)33–67 × (3–)7.5–11 cm. Inflorescences drooping, 15–30 × 6–10 cm; stalks of cincinni 0.3–3 cm, bracteoles sheathing, white proximally, pink distally. Flowers: lip yellow with red penciling, perianth and staminodes otherwise white or pink.

Phenology: Flowering spring–summer (May–Sep).
Habitat: Disturbed hammocks and thickets
Elevation: 0–30 m


V22 223-distribution-map.jpg

Introduced; Fla., Central America, South America, native, Asia.


Alpinia zerumbet is commonly cultivated, but rarely escapes. The illegitimate name Alpinia speciosa (J. C. Wendland) K. Schumann and Hollrung 1887 [(not A. speciosa (Blume) D. Dietrich 1839]) has often been used for this species.

Selected References


Lower Taxa

... more about "Alpinia zerumbet"
Alan T. Whittemore +
(Persoon) B. L. Burtt & R. M. Smith +
Costus zerumbet +
Shellflower +
Fla. +, Central America +, South America +, native +  and Asia. +
0–30 m +
Disturbed hammocks and thickets +
Flowering spring–summer (May–Sep). +
Notes from the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh +
Introduced +  and Illustrated +
Languas speciosum +  and Zerumbet speciosum +
Alpinia zerumbet +
species +