Hornstedtia alliacea (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Hornstedtia alliacea (Teysm. & Binnend.) Valeton

Family: Zingiberaceae


  • Hornstedtia conica Ridley.

Vernacular names

  • Indonesia: pining bawang (Sundanese), ketimbang ketanim (Lampung).


Indonesia (Java, Sumatra), Malaysia (Peninsular), wild and only occasionally cultivated.


The cluster of seeds in the fruits is surrounded by a silvery slimy cover, the whole tasting pleasantly acid. The seed clusters are eaten raw or candied.


  • Slender perennial herb, up to 3.5 m tall, with rhizome at or just below the surface of the ground.
  • Leaves narrowly oblanceolate, up to 55-65 cm × 5-12 cm.
  • Fruiting spikes resembling an onion, 4-5 cm in diameter.
  • Fruit berry-like, ellipsoid, compound, ca. 3 cm × 2 cm.
  • Seeds obconical, 2 mm long, black, with silvery aril.

In lowland forests in moist soils.

Selected sources

  • Backer, C.A. & Bakhuizen van den Brink, R.C., 1963 1968. Flora of Java. 3 Volumes. Noordhoff, Groningen, the Netherlands.
  • Heyne, K., 1927. De nuttige planten van Nederlandsch Indië [The useful plants of the Dutch East Indies]. 2nd ed. 3 Volumes. Departement van Landbouw, Nijverheid en Handel in Nederlandsch Indië. 1953 pp.
  • Holttum, R.E., 1950. The Zingiberaceae of the Malay Peninsula. The Gardens' Bulletin Singapore 13: 1-249.
  • Valeton, Th., 1921. Hornstedtia Retz. Bulletin du Jardin Botanique, Buitenzorg, Série 3, Vol. 3: 150-179.


P.C.M. Jansen, J. Jukema, L.P.A. Oyen, T.G. van Lingen