Alpinia calcarata Rosc.

Sub-Family: Not available
English Name: Snap Ginger
Synonym: Alpinia erecta Steud.
Common Name: Aratha, Kolinchi, Lesser galangal
Flowering & Fruiting Period: May-December
Distribution: Central America and Asia
Habitat: Widely cultivated, sometimes runs wild
Uses: Rhizomes - used as a flavouring. An essential oil obtained from the root is used to flavour liqueurs such as Chartreuse and Angostura, as well as soft drinks. The flowers and young shoots can be eaten raw, steamed as a vegetable, or used as a spice. The rhizome has a wide range of applications in traditional medicine. It is especially valued for its stimulating effect upon the digestive system, being used to treat conditions such as indigestion, colic and dysentery, whilst it is also used in the treatment of skin diseases, enlarged spleen, respiratory diseases, cancers of mouth and stomach, for treatment of systemic infections, cholera, and after childbirth. It is aphrodisiac, aromatic, bitter, digestive, expectorant, pungent herb that stimulates the digestive system.
Key Characteristics: Leafy stem. Leaves sessile, lamina glabrous, linear-lanceolate, margin ciliate. Inflorescence terminal, densely paniculate. Flowers shortly pedicellate; pedicel densely pubescent. Calyx tubular. Corolla tube almost equal to the calyx, pubescent, lobes oblong, pubescent outside. Labellum obovate, tip emarginate, variegated with dark purple and yellow, glabrous. Lateral staminodes small, subulate, at the base of the labellum.Stamen shorter than the labellumr; stigma rounded with ciliate opening. Ovary densely pubescent, trilocular with many ovules. Fruit globose, pubescent, orange-red. Seeds many.