Alpinia zerumbet

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

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

Common names: Shellflower
Basionyms: 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.
Click plate for 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

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.



Lower Taxa

No lower taxa listed.

Facts about "Alpinia zerumbet"
AuthorAlan T. Whittemore +
Authority(Persoon) B. L. Burtt & R. M. Smith +
BasionymsCostus zerumbet +
Common nameShellflower +
DistributionFla. +, Central America +, South America +, native + and Asia. +
Elevation0–30 m +
HabitatDisturbed hammocks and thickets +
Introducedtrue +
PhenologyFlowering spring–summer (May–Sep). +
Publication titleNotes from the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh +
Publication year1972 +
ReferenceNone +
Source xml grained fna xml/V22/V22 223.xml +
SynonymsLanguas speciosum + and Zerumbet speciosum +
Taxon familyZingiberaceae +
Taxon nameAlpinia zerumbet +
Taxon parentAlpinia +
Taxon rankspecies +
VolumeVolume 22 +