Alpinia zerumbet

Alpinia zerumbet (Persoon) B. L. Burtt & R. M. Sm.

Common Names: Shell Ginger, Shell Flower

Family: Zingiberaceae

Habit: Alpinia zerumbet is a slightly succulent/non-woody perennial shrub growing to 3 m in height. The leaves are arranged alternately to 50 cm in length with a leaf sheath, oblong lanceolate with an entire margin and acute leaf apex. The abaxial veins are pubescent.

The complete, perfect, zygomorphic flowers are arranged in pendulant, pubescent raceme. The perianth has 3 white tubular sepals.  There are 3 pink red often with yellow in the throat, fused forming a tube, petals. The lower petal forms a labellum. There are 6 stamens in 2 whorls. One whorl are staminodes. The carpel has an inferior ovary with 3 locules. The fruit a red to yellow fleshy, ribbed, berry”. 

Habitat: Alpinia zerumbet in Human Altered environments (yards, gardens, farms).

Distribution: Alpinia zerumbet is NOT native to the Lucayan Archipelago but is found on many of the northern island groupings. It is native to Southeast Asia and is now found throughout the world in tropical and subtropical regions.

Medicinal/Cultural/Economic usage: Alpinia zerumbet is not known to be used medicinally in the Bahamas.

It is grown as an ornamental.