Kangleipak Ginger
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Kangleipak Ginger
P Native Photo: M. Sawmliana
Common name: Kangleipak Ginger • Manipuri: ꯅꯝꯔꯥ Namra • Mizo: Ai-chhia
Botanical name: Zingiber kangleipakense    Family: Zingiberaceae (Ginger family)

Kangleipak Ginger is a perennial herb with rhizome branched, mature branches up to 2 cm in diameter, with mild turmeric aroma. Leafy shoots are 150-170 cm tall, erect, fleshy. Leaves are 8-15 per pseudostem, stalkless or shortly stalked; leaf-stalk 0-5 mm long, blade 35-42 x 7-8 cm, oblong-lanceshaped, above dark green, smooth, velvet-hairy along side of midrib, below off-green, velvet-hairy, base wedge-shaped, tip tapering. Flowers generally arise from the rhizome on a separate short flower-cluster-stalk 0.5–1 cm. Spike is 5-8 x 3-4 cm, narrowly ovoid, bearing 15-20 flowers. Bracts are 2.8-6.5 x 1.8-3.5 cm, outer 3-4 bracts oblong, tip rounded, green or tinged with purplish red, inner ones oblong-lanceshaped, pale green, tip reflexed, cuspidate. Bracteole are 3.8-4.3 x 0.8 cm, lanceshaped. Calyx is about 2.5 × 0.5 cm, tubular, white, membranous, tri-toothed with 1 cm longitudinal unilateral incision, velvet-hairy. Flower-tube is slender about 5 cm long, pale yellow to white towards the base, dorsal petal 2.5-3.0 x 0.4-0.6 cm, translucent cream at the base, deep yellow with reddish tinge at tip, strongly recurved; lateral petals about 2.5 x 0.5 cm, colored as the dorsal petal, recurved, adhering basally to the ventral surface of the lip at 1.2 cm from the tip. Lip about 3 x 1.5 cm, light yellow with wavy and crisped margins, side lobes absent or reduced to a 1 mm long, triangular vestige. Anther are stalkless, thecae 1.8 cm long. Fruit is a capsule, 4 x 2.5 cm, ovoid-elliptic, trigonous, green with red tinge outside, bright red inside; seeds up to 6 mm long, black, obovoid, completely covered in white aril. In Manipur, it is locally known as Namra. Young rhizome along with the pseudostem are cooked with fermented fish, potato and other stuff, and mashed to make dish called iromba. Kangleipak Ginger is found NE India, particularly Manipur, at altitudes of at 750-1400 m. Flowering: June-July.

Identification credit: Dilip Kr. Roy Photographed in Tan tlang, Mizoram.

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