Alpinia zerumbet (Pers.) B.L.Burtt & R.M.Sm.

Last updated: 02 April 2015

Scientific Name

Alpinia zerumbet (Pers.) B.L.Burtt & R.M.Sm.


Alpinia cristata Griff., Alpinia fimbriata Gagnep., Alpinia fluvitialis Hayata, Alpinia schumanniana Valeton, Alpinia speciosa (J.C.Wendl.) K.Schum. [Illegitimate], Amomum nutans (Andrews) Schult., Catimbium speciosum (J.C.Wendl.) Holttum, Costus zerumbet Pers., Languas schumanniana (Valeton) Sasaki, Languas speciosa (J.C.Wendl.) Small, Renealmia nutans Andrews, Renealmia spectabilis Rusby, Zerumbet speciosum J.C.Wendl. [1]

Vernacular Name

English Shell ginger, shell flower, light galangal, [2] ginger lily, pink porceilain lily [3][4]
China Yan shang jiang, [3] Chui hu shian jiang [4]
India Chitharathai, chirradrai,cirraraai, dumara-asme, dumbara-ashtaka, kastazerambet, nag-damani, puna champa, sittarartai, shulagranthi [3]
Indonesia Galoba merah, goloba koi, langkuas la­ki-Iaki (Moluccas) [2][4]
Thailand Khaa khom (Northern) [2][4]
Philippines Langkuas na pula (Tagalog) [2]
Vietnam Ri[eef]ng[aas]m, g[uwf]ng [aas]m, [2] Gừng ấm, Riềng ấm, Riềng đẹp, Sẹ nước [4]
Brazil Colonia [3]
France Atoumau (Martinique) [2][3]
Russia Al'piniia prekrasnaia [3].

Geographical Distributions

Alpinia zerumbet is considered native to north-eastern India, Burma (Myanmar), Indo-China, China and Japan. Besides, it is cultivated throughout Southeast Asia and in many other tropical and subtropical countries. It is occurs naturally in open and shad­ed forests. [2]

Botanical Description

A. zerumbet comes from the family of Zingiberaceae. It is similar to A. malaccensis. The main differences are that the leafy stem is up to 2-3 m tall while the petiole is up to 2.5 cm long. [2]

The inflorescence is decurved or drooping, measures up to 20 cm long. [2]

A.zerumbet bears 25 or more cincinni of 2 flowers each. The bracteoles are white and with pink apex. [2]

The labellum is entire or shallowly lobed while the fruit is orange. [2]


No documentation

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. zerumbet (Pers.) Burtt. [2]


  1. The Plant List. Ver 1.1. Alpinia zerumbet (Pers.) B.L.Burtt & R.M.Sm. [homepage on the internet]. c2013. [updated 2012 March 26; cited 2015 April 02] Available from:
  2. Ibrahim H. Alpinia zerumbet (Pers.) B.L. Burtt & R.M. Smith. 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; 2001. p. 61
  3. 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. 204
  4. Philippines medicinal plants. Alpinia zerumbet (Pers.) B.L.Burtt & R.M.Sm. [homepage on the internet] c2014. [updated 2014; cited 2015 April 2]