Alpinia conchigera Griff.

Alpinia conchigera Griff., Not. Pl. Asiat. 3: 424 (1851).

Alpinia conchigera 
Alpinia conchigera
Alpinia conchigera
Alpinia conchigera
(Alpinia conchigera Griff.; Photo Diep Dinh Quang)

Vietnamese name:

Riềng rừng

Chinese name:

鞭山姜 jie bian shan jiang

English Name:

Bethlehem star, Madam fate, Star flower.

Latin Name:

Alpinia conchigera Griff.

Synonym Name:

Alpinia humilis Teijsm. & Binn.; Alpinia laosensis Gagnep.; Alpinia sumatrana (Miq.) K.Schum.; Languas conchigera (Griff.) Burkill; Languas sumatrana (Miq.) Merr.; Strobidia conchigera (Griff.) Kuntze; Strobidia oligosperma Kuntze; Strobidia sumatrana Miq.




Pseudostems 1.2-2 m. Ligule entire, ca. 5 mm, tomentose or glabrous; petiole 5-10 mm; leaf blade lanceolate, 20-30 × 1-10 cm, glabrous except pubescent along midvein abaxially and at margin, lateral veins very conspicuous and dense when dry, base obtuse, apex acute. Panicles 20-30 cm, usually only 1- or 2-branched; secondary branches many, ca. 1.5 cm; bracts ca. 5 mm; bracteoles funnelform, 3-4 mm, apex obliquely truncate. Pedicel 3-5 mm. Calyx pale green, cupular, 3-4 mm, apex 3-cleft. Corolla white or pale blue-green, abaxially pubescent; tube equaling calyx; lobes 5-7 mm, central one rounded at apex. Lateral staminodes red, quadrate, ca. 1.5 mm. Labellum pale yellow or pinkish with red streaks, obovate, ca. 5 mm, concave, base bearing a purple callosity covering corolla throat. Filament pale yellowish to pinkish, ca. 5 mm, slender; anther ca. 2 mm. Ovary pyriform, glabrous. Capsule globose when fresh, oblong when dry, 8--10 mm in diam. Seeds 3-5, strongly aromatic. Fl. May-Jul, fr. Sep-Dec.

Cultivation Details:

Plants in this genus generally grow best in a sunny or partially sunny position in a moist, fertile soil
It is found in China, Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia (Sumatra), Laos, W Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam. In Vietnam: This species is scattered from Dong Nai to An Giang.


The tree grows naturally in moist places, based on streams under forest canopy;  600-1100 m.


- The essential oil isolated by hydrodistillation from the fresh rhizomes of Alpinia conchigera Griff was analyzed by capillary GC and GC/MS. More than 40 constituents were present in the oil, from which 34 components could be identified. The major components include β-sesquiphellandrene (20.5%), β-bisabolene (12.1%) and 1,8-cineole (11.6%).
- The isolation of n-hexane and DCM extracts of the rhizomes and pseudostems of Alpinia conchigera: stigmasterol and β-sitosterol: caryophyllene oxide, chavicol acetate 1, p-hydroxy cinnamaldehyde 2, 1'S-1'-acetoxychavicol acetate 3, trans-p-coumaryl diacetate 4, 1'S-1'-acetoxyeugenol acetate 5, 1'-hydroxychavicol acetate 6, p-hydroxycinnamyl acetate 7 and 4-hydroxybenzaldehyde.


The DCM extract of the rhizome of Alpinia conchigera indicated potent antifungal activity against Candida albicans, Microsporum canis and Trycophyton rubrum with MIC values of 625μg/ml, 156μg/ml and 156μg/ml, respectively. It also showed significant inhibitory activity with MIC values between 17.88 and 35.75μg/ml against the mutant Staphylococci isolates MSSA, MRSA and Sa7.


- Cough, sweats, jaundice, headache, dizziness, metritis (Rhizome). (VietNam).
- A poultice of the boiled leaves, or of the leaves and rhizome together, is applied topically in the treatment of rheumatism. The pounded leaves are used as a poultice after confinement and for treating ringworm.
- The rhizome is considered diaphoretic and stimulating. It is used in the treatment of bronchitis, jaundice, headache, ringworm, indigestion, abscesses and vertigo. It is also mixed with other herbs for a post partum tonic.

Edible Uses:

- rhizomes can make fermented wine from highland ethnic people
- The rhizome is used for flavouring rice alcohol and food.
- The fruits are considered edible and medicinal. They are very pungent.


- Hasnah M. Sirat  & Aziz B. Nordin; Chemical composition of the rhizome ooil of Alpinia conchigera Griff from Malaysia; Journal of Essential Oil Research, Volume 7, 1995 - Issue 2, Pages 195-197
- Aziz AN, Ibrahim H, Rosmy Syamsir D, Mohtar M, Vejayan J, Awang K.; Antimicrobial compounds from Alpinia conchigera. J Ethnopharmacol. 2013 Feb 13;145(3):798-802

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