Aspects of cytotaxonomy and reproductive biology of some Zingiberaceae
1) An improved cytological schedule for the preparation of root tip metaphase squashes has been developed. 2) Chromosome number counts are given for 23 species of which 13 are reported for the first time. 3) Karyotype analysis may have some value in genera with comparatively large chromosomes but more species in these genera must be examined before a thorough assessment can be made. 4) Chromosome number and size are useful characters at generic rank in the tribes Hedychieae and Globbeae. The tribes Alpineae and Zingibereae are uniform in chromosome number but, as their chromosome numbers are uncommon in the other tribes, this may be of taxonomic relevance at tribal rank. 5) Most Zingiberaceae are self-incompatible producing one or a few flowers per day over several weeks. They are probably pollinated by constant pollinators, birds and bees. Globba and Hedychium may be pollinated by inconstant pollinators, Lepidoptera. 6) The hypothesis is discussed that the Zingiberaceae are highly adapted to the tropical forest floor in which there are relatively few pollinators and that this has allowed them to become one of the dominant families of the forest floor in the Indo-Malayan region.