Gingers are made up of about 1000 species in 47 genera. They have numerous members with aromatic oils that have made them popular for perfumes and ornamentals. Turmeric, Curcuma longa is one of the most important spices in the world, particularly in India and other areas of south-east asia. In some tropical places, such as Hawaii, ornamental gingers have escaped cultivation and are now a serious invasive species in the wet tropical areas.
Systematics: Gingers can rarely be mistaken for anything else. Most notable is the single functional stamen that it has running through it [the pistil]. This odd arrangement is not present in any other family. What look like petals are actually sterile stamen (staminodes). Three of them are coalesced and two are distinct.
Other descriptive characters are the alternate, disticous leaves with lateral veins running pinnately up the stalk. The ovaries are inferior and the pistil is tri-carpelated.
Selected Photographs: More photographs accessible through the thumbnails above.
Kahili Ginger: Hedychium gardnerianum
Yellow Ginger: Hedychium flavenscens
Beehive Ginger - Zingiber spectabili
Other Zingiberaceae Links
Montoso gardens: Links to many pictures of gingers in the family
UH Botany family description and pictures: by Dr. GD Carr
Family Description: from the Flora of China online
Family Description: Very detailed
Links to pictures of Gingers : Zingiberaceae