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The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
MHW designed the study. MHW and WZ performed data analysis and collected herbal materials. MHW wrote the manuscript. PG and ZZZ monitored the conduct of the study and revised the manuscript. All authors have read and approved the final manuscript.
The fruits and seeds of Alpinia galanga (L.) Willd., Alpinia katsumadai Hayata, Alpinia zerumbet (Pers.) Burtt. & Smith, Amomum kravanh Pierre ex Gagnep., Amomum subulatum Roxb., Amomum tsao-ko Crevost et Lemaire, and Elettaria cardamomum (L.) Maton from Alpinia, Amomum, and Elettaria genera in the Zingiberaceae family are difficult to distinguish between each other. This study aims to identify the seeds of these seven species from Zingiberaceae family based on comparative anatomy of microscopic characteristics.
We compared the morphological structures of seed coats by observing the microscopic characteristics of seeds in transverse sections. We described the macroscopic characteristics of seeds in detail.
The seeds of these three genera could not be identified to the species level based on their macroscopic features. However, based on the anatomical features of the seed coat observed in transverse sections, a dichotomous key for these seven species was feasible.
Seven species in the Zingiberaceae family could be identified based on comparative anatomy of microscopic characteristics of transverse section of seed.