Etlingera elatiorEtlingera elatior or Torch Ginger belongs to the Zingiberaceae and is native of Malaysia.

The stalks and leaves are like those of regular ginger.

Not hardy but very easy to grow.

Description:

The plant may grow up to 4-5 m height. Leaves and flowers appear on separate stalks that emerge from the tuber. The leaves measure about 80 cm long and 18 cm wide.

The conical inflorescence is spectacular: red to pink, 25 cm diameter. It appears on 1,5 m long stalks. The flowers emerge between the bracts and are red with yellow margin. The bracts are tough and shiny and so perfect the flower looks artificial. Seeds are numerous. The flowers attract butterflies, bees and birds.

The flower buds, bracts and seeds are used in Asian cuisine.

Etlingera elatior Botanic Garden Meise

Etlingera elatior
Botanic Garden Meise

Usage:

Ornamental, cut flower, culinary

Nomenclature:

Common names:

Ginger Bud, Indonesian Tall Ginger, Javanese Aromatic Ginger, Kantan, Nicola Flower Buds, Philippine Wax flower, Pink Ginger Bud, Porcelain Rose, Torch Ginger, Torch Ginger Flower Buds, Torch-Ginger

Synonyms:

Achasma yunnanensis, Alpinia elatior, Alpinia speciosa, Elettaria speciosa, Etlingera yunnanensis, Nicolaia elatior, Nicolaia imperialis, Nicolaia speciosa, Phaeomeria magnifica, Phaeomeria speciosa

Etymology:

Etlingera: in honor of the German botanist Andreas Ernst Etlinger (1730-1790)
Elatior: from the Latin elatus (elevated, high)

Origin:

China, Yunnan

Habitat:

Especially in culture, naturalized in wet soils



Hardiness:

USDA zone 9-11, -5 °C

Etlingera elatior

Etlingera elatior
Botanic Garden Meise

Care:

Soil:

Nutritious, moist and well drained

Exposure:

Sun, light

Water:

Water twice a day, never let the substrate dry out

Feed:

Fertilize monthly during growing season

Temperature:

Keep temperature above 10 °C. Is actually more suited for warm greenhouse.

Propagation:

Seed, division of the tuber in spring

Sowing instructions:

  • soak the seeds overnight in water
  • sow at 2 cm depth in a nutritious substrate
  • moisten
  • place the pot in a plastic container and close
  • 25-30 °C
  • when the seedlings are about 5 cm high, remove the undersized ones
  • germination: 3-4 weeks

Image sources

  • Etlingera elatior: Own work
  • Etlingera elatior: Own work
  • Etlingera elatior: Own work

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