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Aframomum (Zingiberaceae, subfamily Alpinioideae) is a genus of 61 species of herbs, occurring naturally in Africa and Madagascar. Historically the seeds have been an important item in international trade under the names "grains of paradise" or "melegueta". The important characters in identification of the species are discussed, and special instructions on collecting specimens of the genus are provided. Keys to fruiting and flowering specimens are presented. Each species account includes nomenclature, description, distribution, and specimen citations. Preliminary IUCN conservation assessments are made based on herbarium records for each species. Twelve new species, Aframomum dhetchuvii, A. fragrans, A. hirsutum, A. kamerunicum, A. kodmin, A. lutarium, A. parvulum, A. plicatum, A. rotundum, A. scalare, A. submontanum, and A. tchoutoui, are described.