ZINGIBERIDAE Cronquist, 1978: 2 orders, 9 families and about 3800 species. Terrestrial or epiphytic herbs or rarely small trees, flowers regular or irregular with 3 sepals and petals, these distinct or connate, the stamens 6 or rarely 5 with 1 staminoid, all in two whorls of 3, occasionally 5 or even 1 functional stamen; gynoecium of 3 united carpels forming a superior or more commonly an inferior, trilocular ovary; fruit a capsular or baccate, seldom schizocarpic or multiple, the seed with copious endosperm. The Bromeliales, which contains only Bromeliaceae, should be referred to the Commelinidae. The Zingiberales, incorporating all of the rest, stand alone as a distinct subclass. Many of the following families are placed in their own suborder. Summary from the University of Wisconsin.
Bromeliales Dumort., 1829
Bromeliaceae Juss., 1789: Epiphytic herbs with stiff leaves and often highly colored leaf-bases and inflorescence bracts bearing highly colored, 3-merous flowers with an inferior or superior ovary. CA3 CO3 A6 GIS(3). 53 genera, 2115 species. Tropical and subtropical America (1 in West Tropical Africa). Divided into three subfamilies: Pitcairnioideae, Tillandsioideae Burnett and Bromelioideae Burnett, the latter the largest. Epiphytic plants even in desert regions. Pineapple (Ananas) belongs to this family. Many used for fiber and as house plants. Spanishmoss is the common name for several species of Tillandsia; these are often used in potted plants for water retention. The direct association of Bromeliales with the Zingiberidae is doubtful. Full description from Watson & Dallwitz; family synonymy from Reveal; list of genera from Kew; family synopsis from the University of Hawaii.
Zingiberales Griseb., 1854
Musaceae Juss., 1789: Treelike perennial herbs with large leaves harboring epigynous, zygomorphic, functionally unisexual flowers consisting of 6 petaloid tepals usually with 5 functional stamens producing fleshy fruits containing non-arillate seeds. [CA(3 COz(3] A5 GI(3). 2 genera, 42 species. Old World tropics. Ensete (7 species) and Musa (35 species) are both important fruit and fiber plants, including plantain and banana. Full description from Watson & Dallwitz; notes from Wisconsin; family synonymy from Reveal; list of genera from Kew; family synopsis from the University of Hawaii.
Zingiberaceae Lindl., 1835: Small to large caulescent perennial herbs with 2-ranked, large leaves harboring epigynous, zygomorphic flowers with 3 sepals and 3 petals fused into a labellum along with 6 stamens (only 1 functional) producing a capsule containing arillate seeds. CA(3 [CO(3 A1+(5)] GI(3). 46 genera, 1200 species. Tropical (especially Indomalesian) regions of the world. The largest genus is Alpinia (250 species). Some used as a ginger, a source of essential oils and an ornamental. The rhizomes of Zingiber officinalis are ground to produce ginger, with turmeric, an ingredient of curry powder, coming from Curcuma domestica. Many other genera are grown as ornamentals. The family Costaceae (4 genera, 110 species of a pantropical distribution), recognized by Cronquist, is sometimes included in Zingiberaceae. Full description from Watson & Dallwitz; notes from Wisconsin; family synonymy from Reveal; list of genera from Kew; family synopsis from the University of Hawaii.
Cannaceae Juss., 1789: Perennial herbs with large leaves harboring epigynous, zygomorphic flowers consisting of 3 sepals and fused into a labellum, 3 fused petals and a single functional stamen producing a conspicuously warty capsule. CA(3 [CO(2+1 A1+(2-5) GI(3). 1 genus, 25 species. Warm and tropical America. Pollen is released onto the style while the the flowers are still in bud; insects then transfer the pollen (including foreign pollen) to the stigma. Many cultivated as ornamentals. Full description from Watson & Dallwitz; notes from Wisconsin; family synonymy from Reveal; list of genera from Kew; family synopsis from the University of Hawaii.