Kaempferia rotunda L.
Sp. pl. 1: 3 (1753).

Synonyms Kaempferia longa Jacq. (1798).

Vernacular names Round-rooted galangal (En). Indonesia: kunci pepet, kunir putih (Javanese), temu rapet (eastern Sumatra). Malaysia: kencur, kunyit putih, temu putih (Peninsular). Philippines: gisol na bilog (general). Thailand: waan nonlap (Chiang Mai), waan haao non (Ratchaburi), ueang din (northern). Vietnam: c[aar]m dia la, ng[ar]i m[as]u.

Distribution Possibly native to Indo-China, but nowadays cultivated almost throughout tropical Asia, mainly as an ornamental but especially in South-East Asia also for medicinal purposes; regularly escaping from cultivation.

Uses In Indonesia, rhizomes are used to treat abdominal illness; the watery little corms are considered cooling. In the Philippines, rhizomes are used internally to treat gastric complaints, and externally, mixed with oil, as a cicatrizant. They are also used in perfumery and as a means to preserve cloth from insects. Leaves and rhizomes are eaten fresh or cooked as a vegetable and used in cosmetic powder and as a food flavouring agent.

Observations A small herb; leaves (2-)3-5, erect, petiolate, sheaths 7-24 cm long, blade oblong-lanceolate to elliptical, (7-)12-25(-36) cm x 4-7(-11) cm, gradually acuminate, glabrous above, puberulous below, often flamed or marked; inflorescence appearing before the leaves on stems with rudimentary leaves, on a well-developed peduncle, 4-16-flowered; calyx 3-7 cm long, white or greenish, corolla white, interruptedly striped-punctate, tube 3.5-7 cm long, lobes 3.5-7 cm long, labellum obcordate, divided halfway or further, 4-7 cm x 2-4 cm, purple with yellowish midrib, other staminodes elliptical to linear, 3-5 cm long, white or lilac, fertile stamen 0.8-2.5 cm long, connective 2-4-lobed. Kaempferia rotunda grows well in teak forest, open lower montane forest, old bamboo forest, but also in open grassland, up to 1300 m altitude.

Selected Source:
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  • [455] Gagnepain, F. 1908. Zingibéracées [Zingiberaceae]. In: Gagnepain, F. (Editor): Flore générale de l'Indo-Chine [General flora of Indo-China]. Vol. 6. Masson & Cie, Paris, France. pp. 25-121.
  • [580] Heyne, K., 1950. De nuttige planten van Indonesië [The useful plants of Indonesia]. 3rd Edition. 2 volumes. W. van Hoeve, 's-Gravenhage, the Netherlands/Bandung, Indonesia. 1660 + CCXLI pp.
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  • [1066] Ochse, J.J. & Bakhuizen van den Brink, R.C., 1980. Vegetables of the Dutch East Indies. 3rd English edition (translation of 'Indische groenten', 1931). Asher & Co., Amsterdam, the Netherlands. 1061 pp.
  • [1126] Perry, L.M., 1980. Medicinal plants of East and Southeast Asia. Attributed properties and uses. MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States & London, United Kingdom. 620 pp.
  • [1128] Pételot, A., 1952-1954. Les plantes médicinales du Cambodge, du Laos et du Vietnam [The medicinal plants of Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam]. 4 volumes. Centre National de Recherches Scientifiques et Techniques, Saigon, Vietnam.
  • [1178] Quisumbing, E., 1978. Medicinal plants of the Philippines. Katha Publishing Co., Quezon City, the Philippines. 1262 pp.
  • [1372] Sirirugsa, P., 1992. Taxonomy of the genus Kaempferia (Zingiberaceae) in Thailand. Thai Forest Bulletin (Botany) 19: 1-15.
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Author: Halijah Ibrahim

Source of This Article:
Ibrahim, H., 1999. Kaempferia rotunda L.In: de Padua, L.S., Bunyapraphatsara, N. and Lemmens, R.H.M.J. (Editors). Plant Resources of South-East Asia No. 12(1): Medicinal and poisonous plants 1. Backhuys Publisher, Leiden, The Netherlands, p. 335

Recommended Citation:
Ibrahim, H., 1999. Kaempferia rotunda L.[Internet] Record from Proseabase. de Padua, L.S., Bunyapraphatsara, N. and Lemmens, R.H.M.J. (Editors).
PROSEA (Plant Resources of South-East Asia) Foundation, Bogor, Indonesia. http://www.proseanet.org.
Accessed from Internet: 02-Mar-2021

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