Zingiberales (Gingers and Bananas)


The Zingiberales is a group of plants including gingers, bananas, heliconias and prayer plants. This group is made up of eight families distributed in tropical areas of Africa, the Americas, Asia and the South Pacific. Members are generally herbaceous, play an important ecological role in their native habitats, and are a source of foods, spices, medicines and ornamentals.

Keywords: spice; fruit; medicinal; taxonomy; tropical

Further Reading

Andersson L (1998) Marantaceae. In: Kubitzki K (ed.), The Families and Genera of Vascular Plants, vol. IV: Monocotyledons: Alismatanae and Commelinanae (except Gramineae), pp. 278–293. Berlin: Springer.

Berry F and Kress WJ (1992) Heliconia: An Identification Guide. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press.

Criley RA and Broschat TK (1992) Heliconia: botany and horticulture of a new floral crop. Horticultural Reviews 14: 1–55.

Kress WJ (1990) The phylogeny and classification of the Zingiberales. Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden 77: 698–721.

Kress WJ, Prince LM, Hahn WJ and Zimmer EA (2001) Unraveling the evolutionary radiation of the families of the Zingiberales using morphological and molecular evidence. Systematic Biology 50(4).

Larsen K, Ibrahim H, Khaw SH and Saw LG (1999) Gingers of Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore. Kota Kinabalu: Natural History Publications (Borneo).

Manchester SR and Kress WJ (1993) Fossil bananas (Musaceae): Ensete oregonense sp. nov. from the Eocene of western North America and its phytogeographical significance. American Journal of Botany 80: 1264–1272.

Rodríguez‐de la Rosa RA and Cevallos‐Ferriz SRS (1994) Upper Cretaceous Zingiberalean fruits with in situ seeds from southeastern Coahuila, Mexico. International Journal of Plant Science 155(6): 786–805.

Wilf P, Labandeira CC, Kress WJ et al. (2000) Timing the radiations of leaf beetles: Hispines on gingers from latest Cretaceous to Recent. Science 289(5477): 205–348.

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How to Cite close
Prince, Linda M, and Kress, W John(Mar 2002) Zingiberales (Gingers and Bananas). In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. http://www.els.net [doi: 10.1038/npg.els.0003710]