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Zingiberaceae

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Title: Zingiberaceae  
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Zingiberaceae

Ginger family
Red Torch (Etlingera elatior)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
(unranked): Commelinids
Order: Zingiberales
Family: Zingiberaceae
Martinov[1]
Type genus
Zingiber
Boehm.
Subdivisions

see text

Globba inflorescence.
Zingiber spectabile cultivar Beehive

Zingiberaceae is the name of a family, the ginger family, of flowering plants consisting of aromatic perennial herbs with creeping horizontal or tuberous rhizomes, comprising about 52 genera and more than 1300 species, distributed throughout tropical Africa, Asia, and the Americas.

Many species are important ornamental plants, spices, or medicinal plants. Ornamental genera include the shell gingers (Alpinia), Siam or summer tulip (Curcuma alismatifolia), Globba, ginger lily (Hedychium), Kaempferia, torch-ginger Etlingera elatior, Renealmia, and ginger (Zingiber). Spices include ginger (Zingiber), galangal or Thai ginger (Alpinia galanga and others), melegueta pepper (Aframomum melegueta), myoga (Zingiber mioga), korarima (Aframomum corrorima), turmeric (Curcuma), and cardamom (Amomum, Elettaria).

Characteristics

Members of the family are small to large herbaceous plants with distichous leaves with basal sheaths that overlap to form a pseudostem. The plants are either self-supporting or epiphytic. Flowers are hermaphroditic, usually strongly zygomorphic, in determinate cymose inflorescences, and subtended by conspicuous, spirally arranged bracts. The perianth is composed of two whorls, a fused tubular calyx, and a tubular corolla with one lobe larger than the other two. Flowers typically have two of their stamenoids (sterile stamens) fused to form a petaloid lip, and have only one fertile stamen. The ovary is inferior and topped by two nectaries, the stigma is funnel-shaped.

Some genera yield essential oils used in the perfume industry (Alpinia, Hedychium).

Distribution

The Zingiberaceae have a pantropical distribution in the tropics of Africa, Asia, and the Americas, with their greatest diversity in Southeast Asia.

Taxonomy

References

  1. ^ Angiosperm Phylogeny Group (2009). "An update of the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group classification for the orders and families of flowering plants: APG III" (PDF). Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 161 (2): 105–121.  
  • The phylogeny and a new classification of the gingers (Zingiberaceae): evidence from molecular data
  • Abstracts from the Symposia on the Family Zingiberaceae
  • from the Third Symposium on ZingiberaceaeA New Classification of the Zingiberaceae
  • Zomlefer, W.B. Flowering Plant Families. The University of North Carolina Press. 1994.

External links

  • List of Indian medicinal plants from Biodiversity of India
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