Kaempferia L.: 2 (1753); Wright: 313 (1913) in part.
Perennial herbs with aromatic rhizomes. Stems annual, usually short. Leaves oblong to lanceolate, usually with long sheaths. Flowers bisexual, rarely unisexual, borne separately from leaves, sometimes precocious, solitary or in spikes or heads, usually large, pedicelled or subsessile; bracts lanceolate to oblong; bracteoles absent. Calyx tube split down one side, membranous. Corolla lobes lanceolate to linear; labellum 2-lobed. Stamen: filament broad, flat, short; anther linear, connective produced above into a toothed petaloid appendage; lateral staminodes conspicuous, usually longer than corolla lobes, free or united to lip. Ovary 3-locular, with many ovules per locule; style filiform; stigma funnel-shaped; epigynous glands erect, short, stub-like. Fruit capsular. Seeds arillate. x = 11 (aneuploids, polyploidy).
Species +/- 20, Africa; 2 in sthn Afr.: Siphonochilus kirkii (Hook.f.) Baker in Caprivi, Namibia, and S. aethiopicus (Schweinf.) B.L.Burtt in Northern Province, Mpumalanga, Swaziland, KwaZulu-Natal to Eastern Cape (largely extinct and possibly introduced in latter three areas fide Williams et al.: 28 (1996)).