Alpinia mutica Roxb.

Last updated: 02 April 2015

Scientific Name

Alpinia mutica Roxb.


Alpinia korthalsii K.Schum., Alpinia laxiflora Gagnep., Catimbium muticum (Roxb.) Holttum, Languas korthalsii (K.Schum.) Merr., Languas laxiflora (Gagnep.) Merr., Languas mutica (Roxb.) Merr., Renealmia mutica (Roxb.) Salisb. [1]

Vernacular Name

Malaysia Chengkenam (Peninsula) [2]
English Small shell ginger, orchid ginger, small shell flower [3]
Vietnam Ri[eef]ng hoa th[uw]a [2]

Geographical Distributions

Alpinia mutica is found around Malaysia and occurs in swampy localities. [2]

Botanical Description

A. mutica comes from the family of Zingiberaceae, is a rather slender herb, measuring up to 1-2 m tall where its rhizome is rather slender. [2]

The leaves are narrowly lance-shaped, measures up to 45 cm x 5 cm, long acuminate and hairless. The petiole is measures about 2 cm long, ovoid ligule, 7-8 mm long and blunt. The panicle is a few to many-flowered, measuring up to 15 cm long, several branches and short. [2]

The cincinni is with 3-5-flowered and absent bracts. The bracteoles are very small, oblong in shape, measures about 6 mm long, white and caduceus. The sepal is tubular, measuring 15-20 mm long, split halfway during flowering and white while the petal tube is shorter, with oblong lobes, measures 2.5-3 cm long and white. The labellum is broadly ovate, somewhat 3-lobed where the basal part is strongly concave, straight apex, bright yellow to orange with numerous red dots and veins where a dark red swells at the base at each side. The staminodes are absent. The stamen is as long as petal lobes, with white filament, tinged pink and the anther is without crest. [2]

The orange-red capsule is an ovoid in shape, up to 2 cm in diameter and sparsely short hairs. The seeds are numerous. [2]


A. mutica planted in Vietnam and India as an ornamental and common as a garden plant in Singapore. [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. mutica Roxb. [2]


  1. The Plant List. Ver 1.1. Alpinia mutica Roxb. [homepage on the Internet]. c2013 [updated 2012 March 26; cited 2015 April 02] Available from:
  2. Ibrahim H. Alpinia mutica Roxb. 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. 60.
  3. Umberto Q. CRC world dictionary of plant names: common names, scientific names, eponyms, synonyms and etymology. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press; 1999. p. 728