Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Meistera dallachyi (F.Muell.) Škorničk. & M.F.Newman

Herb (herbaceous or woody, under 1 m tall)
Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
Click/tap on images to enlarge
Flowers and inflorescences. © B. Gray
Fruit, infructescence and cross section. © W. T. Cooper
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, hypogeal germination. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Common name

Ginger; Ginger, Green; Green Ginger


Usually flowers and fruits as a shrubby plant about 2-4 m tall but it should be noted that only the leaves are above ground level. The true stem is below the soil surface. Aerial 'stems' (actually leaf sheaths) and 'roots' (the true stems) emit a spicy odour when cut or broken.


Leaves and stems glabrous. Leaves decrease in size towards the apex of the leafy shoots. Leaf blades sessile or shortly petiolate, up to 50 x 9 cm, ligule about 0.5-1 cm long, margins shortly ciliate, apex obtuse. Leaves emit a pleasant ginger-like odour when crushed.


Inflorescences produced on a short shoot from the base of the plant and are raised only slightly above ground level. Inflorescence sub-globose, about 6 cm diam. at anthesis, peduncle about 2-6 cm long. Bracts about 3 cm long, pubescent. Bracteoles tubular, about 2-2.5 cm long. Calyx to 2.5 cm long, 3-toothed at the apex. Corolla tube about 2.5 cm long, lobes about 2-2.5 cm long. Labellum about 2 x 3.5 cm. Anther about 8-15 mm long, crest 15 mm wide, filament about 6 mm long. Ovary about 10 mm long.


Fruits borne at ground level in clusters of about 5-20. Capsule rounded or oblong, about 40 x 15 mm diam., echinate. Seeds numerous, ovoid or ellipsoid, about 3-4 mm long. Aril translucent.


Seed attached to a long white filament which joins the seedling near the stem/root interface. One cataphyll produced before the first true leaf. First leaf blade +/- cordate to ovate, 5-veined at the base. Petiole winged towards the base and clasping the stem. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade elliptic, apex acuminate, base cuneate. Midrib depressed on the upper surface. Lateral veins more than 20 on each side of the midrib. 'Stipules' sheath-like, attached to the petiole and extend upwards adjacent to the stem. 'Oil dots' scattered, more obvious when viewed from the upper surface. Roots emit a spicy odour when crushed. Seed germination time 943 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to Queensland, occurs in CYP and NEQ. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 300 m. Grows as an understory shrub in disturbed areas (particularly along roads) in well developed lowland rain forest.

Amomum dallachyi F.Muell., Fragmenta Phytographiae Australiae 8: 25 (1874): Type: Queensland, Rockingham Bay, 25 Apr.1866, J. Dallachy s.n.; lecto: MEL. Fide R. M. Smith (1987) Fl. Australia 45: 453.  Cardamomum dallachyi (F.Muell.) Kuntze, Revisio Generum Plantarum 2: 686(1891).
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