Zingiber ottensii Valeton

Zingiber ottensii Valeton





Vernacular Names

Malaysia Lampoyang hitam, kunyit hitam, berseh hitam.
Indonesia Panglai hideung (Sundanese), bunglai hantu (eastern Sumatra).
Thailand Phlai dam (Northern), puu loei dam (Northern), phlai muang (Bangkok).

Geographical Distributions

Zingiber ottensii is found in Indonesia (Java, Sumatra), Peninsular Malaysia, Thailand.


Zingiber ottensii is a rhizomatous, perennial herb with leafy shoots, which can grow up to 1.5 m tall. Its rhizome is purplish inside and with a very pungent smell.

The leaves are elliptical, 35-40 cm x 6-8 cm.

The inflorescence is like spike-shaped and is locating on separate 25-40 cm long stalk. The bracts are obovate, 4 cm long, convex with incurved tips and bright red. Bracteoles are linear and they are 3 cm long. The spike is ellipsoidal to cylindrical. It is 10-12 cm x 4 cm. The sepal is 2.3 cm long and white while the petal is 5.7 cm long and cream to yellow. The lip is 5.5 cm long with pale yellow. The lip markings are red-brown or faintly pink and densely interspersed with large and small pale yellow spot, including the 2 cm diametre circular midlobe.

The fruit is a red cylindrical capsule. Z. ottensii can easily be distinguished by its purplish rhizome flesh.

Ecology / Cultivation

Zingiber ottensii is commonly found in moist, partially shaded evergreen and monsoon forests on soils rich in organic matter, but also in secondary forests, open habitats at forest edges, disturbed sites and bamboo thickets on rocky soils.

Line Drawing / Photograph



  1. Plant Resource of South-East Asia No.13: Spices.