Alpinia intermedia Image
Alpinia intermedia
Copyright © Phil Markey

Alpinia intermedia

Family: Zingiberaceae   

Common Name: Hardy Wild Ginger

Scientific Synonymy:
Languas intermedia, Alpinia kelungensis, Languas kelungensis, Alpinia oblongifolia, Languas suishaensis, Alpinia suishaensis

Cold Hardiness Zone: 9b     View the UK and US zone maps

Alpinia intermedia Information

Plants 1.0-1.5 m, glabrous. Petiole 0.5-2.0 cm long. Blade 25-40 by 5-12 cm, oblong to lanceolate, acuminate on both ends, glabrous on both sides; ligule 0.5-1.5 cm long, entire or bilobed, glabrous. Inflorescence a thyrse, erect, glabrous, 10-30 cm long, branches 0.5-1.2 cm long, 3-7-flowered, bract small, deciduous. Flowers pedicellate, pedicels 0.1-0.2 cm long; bracteole white, oblong, 0.8 by 0.4 cm, glabrous, deciduous; calyx white, tubular, 0.5-0.6 cm long, shortly 3-lobed, glabrous; corolla white, tube 0.6-0.7 cm long, lobes oblong, glabrous, dorsal lobe 0.6 by 0.3 cm, laterals 0.5 by 0.15 cm; labellum white, ovate, 1.0-1.2 by 0.8-1.2 cm, with 2 red stripes at centre, apex emarginate or entire; staminodes subulate, red, 0.3 cm long; anther 0.3 cm long; filament 0.5 cm long; stigma expanded, cilated orifice; style slender. 2 cm long; epigynous glands columnar, cream yellow, 0.15 cm long; ovary glabrous, 0.2 by 0.2 cm, green. Fruit berry-like, red, globose, 1.0 by 0.9 cm, smooth, glabrous. Seeds 2-7, angled; aril white, membranaceous.

General Information:
I had trouble identifying this ginger at first when I found this species growing on a mountain on Lanyu Island Taiwan at 300 m asl. What threw me was the bright red berry-like fruits. This is a very unusual Alpinia, and not like any other Alpinia I've studied. I can't help thinking that this species is misplaced, and perhaps its synonym of "Languas" would be a better name. This is a rare species, and I have found no record of it being in cultivation. With its delicate, creamy-pinkish coloured, scented blooms this is a highly collectible species.


Native to, Japan, Philippines, Taiwan

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