Etlingera elatior, commonly known as torch ginger, is a tropical rhizomatous perennial of the ginger family that grows to ‘ tall in tropical climates but much. Read fascinating facts and browse beautiful, detailed photos of the torch ginger ( Etlingera elatior): one of thousands of plant species growing at the Eden Project. Etlingera elatior or ‘pink torch ginger’ (Zingiberaceae) are widely cultivated in tropical countries and used as spices and food flavoring.

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Winter hardy to USDA Zones where this plant is best grown in humus-rich, well-drained soils in full sun to light shade.

Torch ginger

Prefers consistently moist soils. Mulch helps maintain good soil moisture.

Plants must be protected from strong winds which can snap off the leafstalks. Plants are monocarpic flower stems die after flowering with new stems developing at the base. etlongera

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Plants are totally intolerant of frost. They also will often perform poorly in frost-free climates when night temperatures dip below 50 degrees F.

Etlingera elatior

These plants probably should not be grown indoors in cooler climates, however, because they will grow much shorter with less vitality and probably will not flower. It is native to Malayasia and Indonesia where it is widely cultivated as an ornamental plant. Flowers bloom throughout the year. Each naked flower stalk with crowning terminal inflorescence purportedly resembles a torch, hence the common name of torch ginger rlatior this plant.

Stems are sometimes sliced into small pieces and added to curries and soups. Genus name honors Andreas Ernst Etlinger, 18th century botanist.

Specific epithet comes from the Latin word elatus meaning tall. Fruit Gardening Vegetable Gardening. Back to Previous Page.

Etlingera elatior – Useful Tropical Plants

Thailand, Malesia, New Guinea. Yellow flowers on red bracts. Full sun to part shade. Culture Winter hardy to USDA Zones where this plant is best grown in humus-rich, well-drained soils in full sun to light shade.


Problems No serious insect or disease problems. Garden Uses Ornamental tropical plant. Missouri Botanical Garden Shaw Blvd. Sign up for our e-newsletter.