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Morphology and Histology of malayavach - Alpinia galanga Willd., ..

malayavach :

malayavach  : Alpinia galanga Willd., Alpinia calcarata


Morphology:

Tender perennial herb, aromatic, up to 2.5m high with 1.0m spread; with thick fragrant tuberous rootstocks, resembling the scent of ginger, from which the new shoots sprout in the spring .Leaves linear- lanceolate, alternating, produced on reedy stems with fringed borders 15-25x3-6 cm ; white sheath, long ligule rounded . Inflorescence racemose, tubular flowers bisexual, produced in pendulous panicles on a separate leafless peduncle, with large ovate white bracts, perianth tremors , one stamen and three carples, red in color with whitish pink or yellow labellum, The fruits are red berries; seeds obtusely angular and aromatic. 

Histology:

Transverse section of the rhizome shows the epidermal cells which are covered by a thick smooth cuticle. The cells are anticlinal with straight moderately thick almost beaded cell walls. The outer cortex consists of two or three layers of more or less collapsed small cells that contain pigments. The inner cortex consists of large rounded to oval parenchymatous cells with various sizes. The majority of cells are densely starch-filled and the grains are club-shaped slightly curved somewhat flattened and the smaller grains are ovoid or rounded. Interspersed throughout the cortex are numerous cells partially or completely filled with dark reddish-brown amorphous masses. Few cells contain pale yellowish volatile oil. Vascular bundles exist throughout the cortex and they contain angular-shaped vessels that are reticulately and spirally thickened. The endodermis consists of small uniform parenchymatous starchfree cells and the cells of the pericycle are small and collapsed.(Anonymous1996; Bisset 2001) .

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