Commemorating Prospero Alpino (1553–1616), Italian botanist.
Leaves with ligules well developed. Flower clusters terminal on leafy stems, raceme like, erect or arching. Calyx tubular, 3 lobed, often spathe-like. Corolla with a cylindrical tube, the lip broad and flat. Sterile stamens 2, short and linear.
Mostly grown in tropical or subtropical regions where the native species including A. arctiflora, A. arundelliana and A. modesta are cultivated. In the southern states mostly used in protected spots or as tub and glasshouse plants.
Division of clumps, occasionally by seed.
Galangal oil is produced from A. galangal and the rhizomes are used as a condiment; A. officinarum extracts are a source of perfume and are used to flavour liqueurs.
Bracts free; sterile stamens short and tooth-like.
About 200 species from Asia to the Pacific. 5 species endemic to Australia.
Source: (2005). Zingiberaceae. In: . Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 5. Flowering plants. Monocotyledons. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.