In Family Zingiberaceae it is known as Galangal or sometimes Greater galangal.
They are clump forming plants growing from thick, fleshy, branching rhizomes (underground stems).
Cane-like pseudo stems, up to 3 m high, are formed by the overlapping leaf sheaths.
Alternate leaves, in 2 rows (distichous), are on a petiole up to 6 mm long.
The open leaf sheath that extends down the stem has dense hairs at the top.
The flat topped ligule, 0.5 to 1 cm long, is densely hairy.
The oblong or lanceolate leaves are commonly 30 to 50 cm long and 5 to 10 cm wide.
The tip is a short point, the base wedge-shaped and the edge is slightly wavy.
There may be some hairs on the lower surface.
The erect, much-branched, terminal inflorescences are on leaf-bearing stems.
They are up to 30 cm long with a midrib that may have hairs.
Each side branch is up to 4 cm long with up to 6 flowers.
There is a bract at the base of each branch and bracteoles under each flower in it.
Bracts are up to 2 cm long and the bracteoles around 6 mm.
They are both persistent remaining even when dead and brown.
The flowers are 3 to 4 cm long with parts in threes.
The tubular white calyx, up to 1 cm long, has 3 lobes and it persists on the fruit.
The slightly longer corolla tube has 3 narrow, oblong lobes around 1.7 cm long that curve backwards.
The corolla is greenish and has short hairs on the outer surface.
The stamens are in 2 whorls.
The inner whorl.
i.) The fertile stamen has a basifixed anther on a filament around 2 cm long.
ii.) The 2 lateral staminodes are fused to form a petal like labellum.
It is obovate or spoon-shaped with a narrow claw base and an expanded end.
It is around 2 cm long and the end is almost 1 cm wide with 2 deep lobes.
The edge is wavy.
It is white with red or purplish lines.
The outer whorl.
i.) One staminode is only 3 mm long.
ii.) The 2 lateral ones are linear red structures 5 to 10 mm long attached to the base of the labellum.
The cylindrical inferior, hairless ovary, of 3 carpels, has 3 locules.
The style lies in a groove on the stamen filament and between the anther sacs.
The stigma lies just above the anther.
The fruit are slightly ellipsoidal capsules up to 1.5 cm across.
They mature from green to orange then red.
They dry out and become brown or black and papery.
There are 3 to 6 dark seeds.