Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Hedychium coronarium J.Koenig

Herb (herbaceous or woody, under 1 m tall)
Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
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Flowers. © CSIRO
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, hypogeal germination. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO

Koenig, K.D. (1783) Observationes Botanicae : 73. Type: Malaya, Konig, s.n.; holo: ?.

Common name



Usually flowers and fruits as a shrubby plant about 1-2 m tall but it should be noted that only the leaves are above ground level. The true stem is below the soil surface.


Leaf blades sessile, linear-lanceolate, about 30-60 x 5-11 cm, ligule thin and papery, about 1.5-2 cm long, apex obtuse and ciliate. Underside of young leaves clothed in long prostrate white hairs.


The interpretation of the structure of the flowers of this species can be difficult because the staminodes resemble petals and the petals can then be mistaken for sepals. Flowers emit a pleasant but strong honeysuckle odour. Inflorescence terminal, about 20 cm long. Bracts broad, 3.5-7 cm long, imbricate, each subtending about 2-6 flowers. Bracteoles similar to the bracts. Calyx pubescent on the outer surface, about 3.5-4.5 cm long. Corolla tube about twice as long as the calyx, glabrous, about 7.5-8 cm long, lobes about 3-3.7 cm long. Labellum about 4-4.5 x 3-3.7 cm. Anther curved, orange, about 15 mm long, filament glabrous, about 40-55 mm long. Pollen white. Style +/- enclosed in the anther filament and anther. Stigma green.


Fruits about 30-35 mm long. Seeds about 5 x 3 x 3 mm, somewhat angular. Aril red, fimbriate, rather like the aril (mace) on nutmeg. Endosperm arranged in radical lines from the embryo to the testa.


First shoots resemble a cataphyll. The first true leaf is +/- orbicular and glabrous. Subsequent leaves are ovate. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf base or the petiole sheathing the stem. Ligules present on all leaves. Seed germination time 25 to 44 days.

Distribution and Ecology

An introduced species originally from Asia and Malesia (?) now naturalised in NEQ and in south eastern Queensland. Altitudinal range in NEQ from near sea level to 750 m. Grows in wet areas in disturbed rain forest or abandoned agricultural land.

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