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Alpinia galanga (L.) Willd.

Alpinia galanga (L.) Willd.




Languas vulgare J. Koenig, Amomum galanga (L.)Lour., Languas galanga (L.) Stunts

Vernacular Names

Malaysia Lengkuas, puar
English Galanga, Greater galangal
Indonesia Langkuas (General), laos (Javanese), laja (Sundanese)
Philippines Langkauas (General), palla (Mandaya)
Burma (Myanmar) Padagoji
Cambodia Rumdeng, pras
Laos Kha:x ta: de:ng
Thailand Kha, kha yuak (Northern), katuk karohinee (Central)
Vietnam Ri[ee[]ng n[ees]p, s[ow]n n[aj]i, h[oo[]ng d[aaj]u kh[aas]u
French Galanga

Geographical Distributions

Tropical Asian and South-East Asian countries. 


A. galanga is a robust herb up to a height of 3.5 m. This 2-4 cm in diametre rhizome is copiously branched in light red or pale yellow. It is fragrant.

The leaves form is oblong lanceolate and the size is about  (20-)50(-60) cm x (4-)9(-15) cm;it is sub-hairless, glossy green, densely white-dotted, ligule truncate of about 1 cm long and densely pubescent. The petiole is between 1-1.5 cm long and hairy.

Its inflorescence is raceme-like, erect, many flowered  with a size of about 10-30 cm x 5-7 cm, it is pubescent, the bracts is egg-shaped, up to 2 cm long, with each subtending a cincinnus of 2-6 flowers. Its secondary bract is smaller  and the 3-4 cm long yellow-white flowers are fragrant. The sepal is tubular, about 1 cm long, white, petal tube is terete that about 1 cm long; it has 3 recurved lance-oblong lobes about 1.5 cm x 0.6 cm. The margins have fringe of hairs in greenish-white. Its labellum is a spoon-shaped form about 1.5-2.5 cm x 0.5-0.75 cm, white veined with lilac to purple, clawed, it is undulate crenate at the margin while the apex is recurved inwards, lateral staminodes represented by 2 sharply pointed lobes at the base of the labellum which about 7-8 mm long, reddish, stamen erect, anther incurved and 2-2.5 cm long.

The form of capsule is spherical to elliptical and its diametre is 1-1.5 cm. The colour is orange-red to wine red, black when mature and produce 2-3-seeds.

Ecology / Cultivation

A. galanga occurs in cultivation and semi-wild near villages, or at the borders of secondary forest. It requires sunny or moderately shady locations. Soil should be fertile, moist but not swampy. Sandy-soils rich in organic matter and with a good drainage are preferred.

Line Drawing / Photograph


Read More

  1) Cultivation

  2) Malaysian Herbal Plants


  1. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No 12(2). 1998, Unesco.

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