The gingers, members of the family Zingiberaceae, are one of the most famous examples of the unusual and beautiful directions evoution can take in the tropics.
Ginger morphology is highly variable. However, nearly all Zingiberaceae have a rhizome, alternate leaves arranged in the same plane, a leaf sheath extending below the leaf base and encircling the stem, a ligule extending above the leaf base, one fertile stamen, and inferior ovaries.
Within the family, flower placement, bract morphology, petiole and ligule shape and length, and the presence of hair and reticulation on the vegetative structures can be used to distinguish between genera and species.
In this monograph, the specimens have been classified using these characters to genera or species whenever possible, using Gingers of Sarawak by Axel Poulsen. Several could not be confidently attributed to any taxon, but have been classified as a morphospecies.
Characters that are especially useful in distinguishing the species have been marked in bold. A full list of species, key, and constructed phylogeny are also included.