Flora of the Hawaiian Islands
Monocotyledon Literature for Alpinia purpurata
Wagner et al., 1991, 1999.
   Zingiberaceae -- The Ginger Family Bibliography
      Alpinia purpurata

Common name(s): `awapuhi `ula`ula, red ginger
General Information
DistributionNative to New Caledonia, New Hebrides, British Solomon Islands Protectorate, Bismarck Archipelago, and Bougainville, widely cultivated and sometimes naturalized in the tropics.In the Hawaiian Islands, naturalized on Kaua`i, Moloka`i.

Leafy shoots 1-5 m tall (up to 7 m tall in cultivated forms).
Leaves oblong, 30-70(-80) cm long, 10-22 cm wide, glabrous, apex short acuminate, sessile, ligules unequally 2-lobed, (5-)7-20 mm long, pubescent, sheaths pubescent at apex and along margins.
Inflorescences terminal on leafy shoots, unbranched (occasionally branched in cultivated forms), basically cylindrical, 15-30 cm long, usually elongating considerably with age, primary bracts usually red (occasionally pink or white in cultivated forms), ovate or broadly obovate, 2.5-3 cm long at anthesis, elongating to 4-6 cm long in fruit, apex mucronate, persistent, rachis glabrous, glabrate, or rarely pubescent, cincinni 1-2(-5)-flowered, bracteoles reddish, tubular, 6-10 mm long, with a subapical spur; floral tube 2-2.7 mm long; calyx reddish, 1.7-2(-2.7) cm long, glabrous, each lobe with a subapical spur; corolla white, exserted just beyond primary bracts; labellum white, with 2 distinct lateral lobes and a central segment that is distinctly 3-lobed or subentire, about as long as corolla lobes; stamen 6-7 mm long; ovary 3-4 mm long, glabrous.
Capsules nearly globose, 2-3 cm in diameter.
Seeds ca. 3 mm long, angled.