Saturday, December 6, 2008

Hedychium coronarium J. Koenig

Family : Zingiberaceae

Synonym(s) : Hedychium flavescens Carey ex Roscoe

English Name : Common ginger lily, Garland flower, Butterfly lily, White ginger

Origin : India and China


A stout terrestrial herb, 1—2.5 m tall, rhizome fleshy, 2.5—5 cm in diameter, strongly aromatic. Leaves large, oblong to lanceolate, 16—60 cm x 5—10 cm, glabrous above, glabrous or sparsely hairy beneath, ligule up to 3 cm long, bilobed. Flowers showy, fragrant, white or pale yellow, calyx tubular, cleft on one side, up to 4 cm long, green, corolla tube up to 8 cm long, lobes linear-lanceolate, about 4 cm long, labellum obcordate or obovate, 5—6 cm wide, white or pale yellow with darker yellow spot at base, narrowed at base, lateral staminodes oblong-lanceolate, 3—5 cm long, clawed, fertile stamen not exceeding labellum, anther strongly curved, 1.5 cm long. Capsule oblong, glabrous, valves orange-yellow inside, many-seeded.


Often cultivated as a garden plant but sometimes escapes and can be found growing along rivers, in swampy areas, open wet locations and the edges of shaded secondary forests, from sea-level up to 2500 m altitude.

Parts Used : Leaf, stem, rhizome, root and seed

Herb Effects

Febrifuge (ground rhizome); carminative and anthelmintic (essential oil from the roots); aromatic, carminative and stomachic (seeds).

Medicinal Use

A decoction of the basal part of the stem is gargled for tonsilitis, or a part of the stem may be chewed. The chewed stem is applied to infected nostrils. Boiled leaves are applied to stiff and sore joints.


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