Kaempferia galanga

Kaempferia galanga





Vernacular Names

Malaysia Cekur, cekur Jawa, cengkur (Peninsular).
English East-Indian galangal.
Indonesia Kencur, cekur (General), bataka (North Sulawesi, Ternate, Tidore).
Philippines Gisol (General), disok (Iloko), dusol (Tagalog).
Laos ‘van2'hom.
Thailand Horn proh (Central), waan horn, waan teen din (Northern).
Vietnam Dia li[eef]n, s[ow]n nai, tam n[aj]i.

Geographical Distributions

This herb is possibly native only to India, where it is widespread. It is cultivated throughout Southeast Asia, including southern China, in Malesia east to the Moluccas, possibly also introduced in northern Australia.


This is a small herb.

The leaves are usually 2-3(-5), with 1.5-5 cm long sheaths. The blade is often horizontal and lying flat to the soil, broadly elliptical to slightly flat with circular outline, the top surface is smooth while the bottom surface is cobweb-hairy.

The inflorescence is sessile, emerging from between the leaves. It is 4-12(-15)-flowered. The sepal is 2-3 cm long. The petal is white, with tube 2.5-5 cm long and lobes 1.5-3 cm long. Their lip is broadly reversed egg-shaped, divided to about halfway or more, white or pale purple with violet to purple spots at the base. Each lateral lobe is about 2-2.5 cm x 1.5-2 cm. Other abortive stamen has an imperfect anther that is oblong-reversed egg-shaped to oblong-lance-shaped, 1.5-3 cm long and white. Their fertile stamen is 10-13 mm long, with two lobes deeply connective with abruptly bent lobes.

Ecology / Cultivation

K. galanga thrives best in slightly shaded places such as open forest, forest edges, and bamboo forest, on various soils, up to 1000 m altitude.

Line Drawing / Photograph


Read More

  1) Cultivation

  2) Malaysian Herbal Plants


  1. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No 12(1): Medicinal and poisonous plants 1.