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Alpinia rugosa


Alpinia rugosa S.J.Chen & Z.Y.Chen

Family Name: Zingiberaceae
Common Name: Evergreen Broadleaf Ginger

Alpinia rugosa or Evergreen Broadleaf Ginger is a rhizomatous herb can reach to a height of 1.2 m tall. It has wrinkled elongated leaves and flowers that are white in colour, with an orange lip and pink tubular calyx. The Evergreen Broadleaf Ginger was first discovered in Baoting County, Hainan and known to only exist naturally in Hainan Island.


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Authority
Name Status (botanical)
Common Names
Species Summary

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Monocotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Herbaceous Plant
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Maximum Height 1.2 m


Native Distribution Hainan
Native Habitat Terrestrial
Preferred Climate Zone Sub-Tropical / Monsoonal, Tropical
Local Conservation Status Non-native

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form It is a rhizomatous herb that produce stem-like stalks (pseudostems) that reaches to 1.2 m in height.
Foliage Its foliage has ruffled or wrinkled (rugose) leaf blades that are elongated and oblong in shape. The leaves are glabrous on the top, pubescent at the bottom. They can measure between 23 - 57 cm long, 5 - 8 cm wide, held on a short hairy petiole of 1 - 5 cm long.
Flowers Its flowers are held on a raceme inflorescence. Flowers are white, tubular with a orange coloured lip, tinged in red emerging from a pink tubular calyx. Each inflorescence is 5 - 11 cm tall, produces up to 20 flowers.
Fruits Its fruits are produced in an elliptic capsule of 1.8 - 2.1 cm by 1.4 - 1.9 cm. The pubescent fruits are yellow in colour when matured.
Habitat It occurs in shaded wet areas in valley forests, 600 - 800m altitude.
Taxonomy Alpinia rugosa was first discovered in 1990, at Mount. Diaoluoshan, Baoting County in Hainan Province, China and confirmed that the species is known to be endemic to Hainan island.
Cultivation It thrives well in containers, indoors or on the patio. Plant the species in well drained mix and avoid arid or wet, mucky soils.
Etymology The genus, Alpinia honours Prosper Alpino, an Italian botanist who introduced coffee and bananas to Europe while the species epithet, rugosa translates to rugose in reference to the leaves wrinkled appearance.

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Foliage, Ornamental Flowers
Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Fertile Loamy Soils, Moist Soils, Well-Drained Soils
Landscape Uses Container Planting, Parks & Gardens

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Semi-Shade
Water Preference Moderate Water
Plant Growth Rate Fast
Propagation Method


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Alternate
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Shape(s)
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net
Foliar Margin Entire
Foliar Apex - Tip Acuminate
Foliar Base Cordate, Oblique / Asymmetrical

Non - Foliar and Storage

Stem Type & Modification Pseudostem
Root Type Underground (Fibrous Root)
Specialised Storage Organ(s) Underground (Rhizome)

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality 1 Bisexual Flowers
Flower & Plant Sexuality 2 Bisexual Flowers
Flower Colour(s) White, Orange, Red, Pink
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence
Flower Location Terminal
Flower Symmetry Bilateral
Individual Flower Shape Labiate / Lipped
Inflorescence Type Raceme
Flowering Habit Polycarpic

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) - Angiosperms and Gymnosperms Yellow / Golden
Fruit Classification Simple Fruit
Fruit Type 1 Indehiscent Dry Fruit
Fruit Type 2 Capsule


References Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (continuously updated). Plants of the World Online | Kew Science. Accessed 6 January 2022.

Zou, P., Ye, YS., Chen, S.J., Chen, Z.Y. & Liao, J.P (2012). Alpinia rugosa (Zingiberaceae), a New Species from Hainan, China. Novon, Vol. 22, pp. 128 - 130.

Image Repository



Master ID 34192
Species ID 8605
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 17 January 2022.