Alpinia malaccensis (Burm.f.) Roscoe

Last updated: 02 April 2015

Scientific Name

Alpinia malaccensis (Burm.f.) Roscoe


Alpinia malaccensis var. malaccensis, Alpinia nutans var. sericea Baker, Buekia malaccensis (Burm.f.) Raeusch., Catimbium malaccense (Burm.f.) Holttum, Costus malaccensis Koenig, Languas malaccensis (Burm.f.) Merr., Maranta malaccensis Burm.f. [1]

Vernacular Name

Malaysia Puar, bangle [2][3][4]
China Mao ban shan jiang [3][4]
India Jangali adrak [3] gara dun did, gond tara, jagai, jangai, purprepre, tara [4]
Indonesia Laja gowah (Sundanese); langkuas malaka (Moluccas); susuk (Lampung) [2][3][4]
Thailand Kha paa (Northern, North-eastern); [2][3] mehdu [4]
Laos Ma kha [4]
Philippines Tagbak babae (Tagalog); barapat (Igorot); birao-birao (Sulu); [2] tagbak-lalaki, talbak, tukang-maya [3]
Vietnam ri[eef]ng Malacca [2][3][4]
Bangladesh Deo tara, deotara [4]

Geographical Distributions

Alpinia malaccensis is widespread from the moister parts of mountainous regions of India towards Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines. This plant is commonly found in primary forest and shaded rocky outcrops at low and medium altitudes. [2]

Botanical Description

A. malaccensis is a robust herb from the family of Zingiberaceae, that can grow measures up to 2-4 m tall and with strong aromatic when bruised. [2]

The leaves are narrowly lance-shaped, measuring 40-90 cm x 7(-20) cm, acuminate, usually densely pubescent below or pubescent on margins and midrib and densely short hairs sheath near the blade. The ligule is an entire, up to 1 cm long, hairy and with 3-7 cm long petiole. [2]

The inflorescence is racemose, erect or slightly curved, measures about 35 cm long, with 30 or more cincinni and absent bracts. The bracteoles are 1.5-2 cm long, caducous as the flower opens and white. The pedicel is 0.5-1.5 cm long. The sepal is 2 cm long, shortly 3-lobed and deeply split unilaterally. It is white and pubescent. The petal is white. The tube is measuring up to 1 cm long and ciliate lobes. The lateral lobes are 3 cm x 1 cm while the dorsal lobe is measures up to 4 cm x 2.5 cm. The labellum is broadly ovate, 3-5 cm long and at the widest part is 3 cm across, incurved sides, narrow to emarginate apex where at the base is with 2 papillose fleshy swellings that is yellow-orange with scarlet lines. The lateral staminodes are subulate and measuring up to 5 mm long. The filament of stamen is measures about 1 cm long. The anther connective is not prolonged into a crest. [2]

The red capsule is spherical, up to 3 cm in diametre and shortly pubescent. The seed is 3-4-angular and about 5 mm long. [2]


A. malaccensis cultivated in north-eastern India, Java and southern China. [2]

Chemical Constituent

No documentation

Plant Part Used

No documentation

Traditional Use

No documentation

Preclinical Data

No documentation

Clinical Data

No documentation


No documentation


No documentation

Line drawing


Figure 1: The line drawing of A. malaccensis (Burm.f.) Roscoe. [2]


  1. The Plant List. Ver 1.1. Alpinia malaccensis (Burm.f.) Roscoe. [homepage on the internet]. c2013. [updated 2012 April 18; cited 2015 April 02] Available from:
  2. Ibrahim H. Alpinia malaccensis (Burm.f.) Roscoe. In: van Valkenburg JLCH, Bunyapraphatsara N, editors. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No. 12(2): Medicinal and poisonous plants 2. Leiden, Netherlands: Backhuys Publisher. p. 59-60.
  3. Philippines medicinal plants. Alpinia malaccensis (Burm.f.) Roscoes. [homepage on the internet]. c2014. [updated 2014; cited 2014 Dec 12] Available from:
  4. Umberto Q. CRC World Dictionary of Medicinal and Poisonous Plants: Common Names, Scientific Names, Eponyms, Synonyms, and Etymology (5 Volume Set). Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press; 2012. p. 203.