Zingiber griffithii (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Zingiber griffithii Baker

Family: Zingiberaceae

Vernacular names

  • Malaysia: tepus merah, tepus kechil, tepus huma


Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore, peninsular Thailand.


The rhizomes are pungent. The whole plant may be used for poulticing the body, e.g. to alleviate fever.


  • Rhizomatous, perennial herb with leafy shoots, up to 1.2 m tall.
  • Leaves broadly lanceolate to ovate, 15-25 cm × 5-8 cm, beneath with very fine silky hairs, veins raised when dry.
  • Inflorescence spiciform on a separate scape 4-15 cm long; bracts elliptical, up to 2.5-4 cm × 1.5-2.5 cm, pink to red; bracteoles absent; spike fusiform to cylindrical, 10-15 cm × 1.5-3.5 cm.
  • Calyx 2.5 cm long; corolla 5 cm long, white to pale yellow, dorsal lobe 2 cm × 1 cm; labellum with triangular midlobe 17 mm × 6 mm, white to pale yellow, lateral staminodes very small.
  • Fruit a glabrous capsule, about 2 cm long.
  • Seed maroon.

Z. griffithii occurs in lowland evergreen forest or in secondary forest in damp, shady locations on soils rich in humus.

Selected sources

  • Burkill, I.H., 1935. A dictionary of the economic products of the Malay Peninsula. 2 volumes. Crown Agents for the Colonies, London, United Kingdom. 2402 pp. (slightly revised reprint, 1966. 2 volumes. Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. 2444 pp.).
  • Holttum, R.E., 1950. The Zingiberaceae of the Malay Peninsula. The Gardens' Bulletin Singapore 13: 1-249.
  • Ridley, H.N., 1922-1925. The flora of the Malay Peninsula. 5 volumes. Government of the Straits Settlements and Federated Malay States. L. Reeve & Co., London, United Kingdom.
  • Theilade, I., 1996. Revision of the genus Zingiber in Peninsular Malaysia. The Gardens' Bulletin Singapore 48: 207-236.


P.C.M. Jansen