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Gingers and relatives

There are many representatuives of the ginger family in SE Asia. The rhizome, stems and leaves are rich in volatile oils like terpenoids  and has been used in medicine and Asian cooking for many year.  

The black shiny leaves of black ginger - Zingiber malaysiana, stand out from the more common species from the Z. citrinum complex. The in-situ photo is taken from Labis area of Johore at a very damp forest. This species is endemic to Malaysia and is only formally described in 2002. 

Boesenbergia is a group of small to mid size forest gingers from East Asia.

Bosenbergia rotunda - a spice from India and Yunnan.  

Another Boesenbergia collected from dense forest in Malaysia.

Cucurma is a favourite spice in Asian cooking, where C. domestica rhizome is the souce of the  yellow tumeric powder. The attractive flower heads consisting of the colourful and long lasting bracts (shown here) and small short lived flowers (not shown) also render them good horticultural subjects. 

Globba is a genus of small to mid-size gingers with interesting flowers and often coloured bracts. Shown here is a form of G. variabilis with velvety leaves from Johore.

A yellow globba phoographed in-situ at Johore. Clearly shown is the anther with 4 appendages, an important parameter for species identification.

Globba leucanthra (in situ, Panti swamp) - the white coloured bracts and flowers readily identifies this species. This is a relatively big member of the Globba genus. 

The very pretty leaves of a plant from Marantacea family - this species is from lowland Malaysia,

Orchidantha maxillaroides is from the Lowicea family, related to ginger. The flower resembles an orchid, complete with the lips. 

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