Boesenbergia longiflora (Zingiberaceae) and descriptions of five related new taxa


Latin,  longus = long and  flos = flower



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Etymology.  Latin,  longus = long and 

flos = flower. Named by Wallich for the long 

flower. 



Notes. The cultivated material (M11P48) was grown from dormant rhizome divisions 

of  Kress GH2003-051 cultivated at the Smithsonian Institution, and originally 

collected on 18 June 2003, in Rakhine state, Burma as Kress 03-7305 (US). This 

accession compared very well with Wallich’s description and watercolour (Fig. 1). The 

only exception was the lack of pigmentation on the lower lamina surface, a character 

found to be highly variable throughout this clade. Of note are the very small, bulb-

like rhizomes which develop en masse, underground, at the base of the pseudostem. 

Each of these small entities are loosely attached to the main rhizome and if separated 

can produce a new plant. Wallich 6989B

 (CAL, K, microfiche 7394) annotated and 

listed as 

G. longiflora (Wallich 1832) has a terminal inflorescence and as such, appears 

to be a different taxon, perhaps related to B. siphonantha (King ex Baker) M.Sabu, 

Prasanthk. & Škorničk. 

Boesenbergia kerrii Mood, L.M.Prince & Triboun,

 sp. nov. 

Boesenbergiae longiflorae (Wall.) Kuntze affinis, inflorescentiis 4 vel plus floribus, 

floribus  maioribus  3.8-4.0 cm longis c. 2.8 mm latis, labello elongatiore truncato 

apice indentato differt. 

TYPUS: Mood & Triboun 12P170, Cultivated in Hawaii, USA, 1 Nov 2012 (holo BK; 

iso AAU). Originally from Thailand, Tak Province, Khao Pa Wo District, near Mae 

Sot, c. 600 m asl, 16º48.783'N 98º39.70'E, 8 September 2010, Mood & Triboun 2044

cultivated as M2044. (Fig. 8, 9, 17 & 19B)

Deciduous herb up to 1.2 m tall; rhizome small, globular, c. 1 cm diam., externally red, 

pink or light tan, internally light yellow to white; multiple, small bulb-like rhizomes 

surrounding the main rhizome, c. 1 cm long, pink turning red with age; tuberous roots 

few to numerous, c. 12 

× 0.5-0.8 cm, tapering to a point, externally and internally 

white, root hairs few, c. 10 mm long, thin, white. Pseudostem up to 30 cm, composed of 

leaf sheaths, base oval, c. 2

-2.5 cm diam., 1-

2 leafless sheaths at the base, leaf sheaths 

longitudinally ridged, green, glabrous, margin hyaline. Leaves 5

-8 per pseudostem; 

petiole 9

-18 cm, deeply channelled, green, glabrous; ligule slightly bilobed, lobes 

an extension of the hyaline margin, 2 mm long, green, glabrous; lamina elliptical or 

broadly ovate, c. 41

-61 × 20-21 cm, plicate, ventrally dark green, glabrous, dorsally 

lighter green, glabrous with a few hairs on the midrib, base rounded to cordate, 

sometimes asymmetric, apex acute to long acuminate. 



Inflorescence radical, c. 3-6 

or more per pseudostem, up to c. 15 cm long (including peduncle) produced from the 

side of the rhizome; peduncle c. 1

-4 cm long, white, glabrous, basal sheaths 1-2 , pink 

and white, pubescent; spike horn-shaped, 5

-12 × 1-2 cm. Bracts cymbiform, 4-6, c. 

4

-5 × 1.5-2 cm, distichously arranged, green and red, glabrous, each bract enclosing 



one flower, some basal bracts sterile, apex sometimes curved; bracteole cylindrical, 

c. 5 


× 0.5 cm, white, translucent, glabrous, open to the base, apex acute. Flowers 3-6 

64

Gard. Bull. Singapore 65(1) 2013




Fig. 8. Boesenbergia kerrii Mood, L.M.Prince & Triboun. Ink line drawing with watercolour of 

the type plant by Linda Ann Vorobik (2012).

65

Boesenbergia longiflora and related taxa



Fig. 9. Boesenbergia kerrii Mood, L.M.Prince & Triboun. A. 

First-day flower of M2044. B. 

Second-day flower of M 2044C. Plants of M2049. D. Rhizomes and tuberous roots of M2058

E. Typical habitat on limestone with bamboo. (Photos: J. Mood)

66

Gard. Bull. Singapore 65(1) 2013




per inflorescence, up to c. 15 cm long. Calyx tubular, 2.0 × 0.5 cm, white, translucent, 

glabrous, apex bi-dentate. Floral tube 12

-14 cm long, c. 3 mm wide at the base, white, 

glabrous; corolla lobes (dorsal and ventral) linear to lanceolate, c. 2 

× 0.5 cm, white 

to light yellow, glabrous, margins involute; androecial tube cup-shaped, c. 4

-5 mm 

long, c. 10 mm diam. at the top, yellow, glabrous externally and internally. Labellum 



saccate, semi-orbicular, 3.8

-

4 cm long, 2.2 cm wide (when flattened at the broadest 



point) light yellow, throat centre orange-red, maculate with yellow showing through 

as dots, red pattern broadening toward the lip apex, ending c. 10 mm short of the 

apex, then dark red streaks to the apex, glabrous, margin entire, revolute on the sides, 

apex shortly to deeply bilobed, 2

-8 mm, slightly wavy; lateral staminodes obovate, 

1.3 


× 1 cm, light yellow, glabrous, apex rounded, revolute, margin wavy. Stamen 11 

mm long, filament 2 mm long, 2 mm wide at the base, light yellow, with a few short 

glandular hairs, anther 9 mm long, 3 mm wide (first day) then 6 mm wide (thecae 

diverging on the second day) apex rounded with no anther crest, thecae c. 9 

× 1 mm, 

light yellow, dehiscing along the entire length. Ovary c. 8 

× 4 mm, trilocular, axile 

placentation, white, glabrous; style

 filiform, yellowish-white, glabrous, stigma round 

to oval, white, ostiole oval, without cilia, exuding a sticky liquid on the second day; 



epigynous glands linear, two, 5 mm long, light yellow. Fruit not seen. (Measurements 

based on living, cultivated material of M2044).



Distribution. This species is prevalent in western Thailand from the southern area of 

Tak Province to the southern area of Kanchanaburi Province. It should be expected in 

E. Burma.

Ecology. This species has been found only in close proximity to limestone rock outcrops. 

In almost all situations observed, the primary canopy component was bamboo with 

mixed deciduous, hardwood species. The plants grow in the cracks between limestone 

rocks where there is accumulation of organic matter or in deeper soils surrounding 

the limestone karsts. In the dry season these areas are often burnt, leaving a biochar 

residue. Shade is variable from light to medium. Plants commonly occur as single 

individuals, but over time, can create small populations of scattered plants. The result 

is a group of separate stems growing close together or scattered about.



Phenology. 

Flowering from June to October with a two-day flowering cycle for each 

flower.

Etymology. Named in honour of Arthur F.G. Kerr (1877

-1942) one of the ‘founding 

fathers’ of botany in Thailand. His two specimens from the Thailand/Burma border 

(1922) appear to be the first collections of this new taxon.



Additional specimens examined: THAILAND. 

Tak Province. Umphang, Kao Hua limestone 

hills, 13 Jun 1922, Kerr 6133 (P, C; *); South of Mae Sot along Maenam Moei, 17 Jun 1922, 



Kerr 6144 (K, L, P; *);  Khao Pha Wo, 23 Jul 1973, Murata, Fukuoka & Phengkhlai T-16947 

(BKF); Khao Pha Wo, 23 Jul 1973, Murata, Fukuoka & Phengkhlai T-16949 (BKF, KYO, 

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Boesenbergia longiflora and related taxa





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