Greater galangal is native to Java and is widely used in Indonesia, Malaysia and parts of India as a food flavouring and spice. The plant grows from rhizomes in clumps of stiff stalks, with no central stem, up to 2 m in height with plentiful long leaves which bear red fruit. The rhizome has an orangey-brown skin with a pale yellow/white interior and a sharp, sweet taste and smells like a blend of black pepper and pine needles. The red fruit is used in traditional Chinese medicine and has a flavor similar to cardamom. The plant produces greenish-white flowers, dark red at their tips, that later produce the red berries. The rhizome must have at least two nodes/eyes before it can be planted.