Etlingera elatior (Torch Ginger)

Scientific Name

Etlingera elatior (Jack) R.M.Sm.

Common Names

Torch Ginger, Ginger Flower, Philippine Wax Flower, Red Ginger Lily, Torch Lily, Wild Ginger, Indonesian Tall Ginger, Porcelain Rose


Achasma yunnanensis, Alpinia acrostachya, Alpinia diracodes, Alpinia elatior, Alpinia javanica, Alpinia magnifica, Alpinia speciosa, Amomum magnificum, Amomum tridentatum, Bojeria magnifica, Cardamomum magnificum, Cardamomum speciosum, Cardamomum tridentatum, Diracodes javanica, Elettaria speciosa, Geanthus speciosus, Hornstedtia imperialis, Nicolaia imperialis, Nicolaia intermedia, Nicolaia magnifica, Nicolaia speciosa, Phaeomeria imperialis, Phaeomeria magnifica, Phaeomeria speciosa

Scientific Classification

Family: Zingiberaceae
Genus: Etlingera


Color: Red
Bloom Time: Throughout the year


Etlingera elatior is a tropical, rhizomatous perennial that grows up to 15 feet (4.5 m) tall in tropical climates but much shorter in cooler climates. Arching leafstalks up to 15 feet (4.5 m) tall are clad with ribbed, leathery, banana-like leaves (up to 3 feet/90 cm long), each having a central groove. Naked flower stalks rise directly from the rhizomes up to 3 feet (90 cm) tall. Each stalk is topped by a cone-shaped inflorescence containing tiny yellow flowers over tiny fertile bracts, both of which are somewhat hidden inside of and subtended by large, drooping, showy petal-like red bracts. Flowers bloom throughout the year.

Etlingera elatior - Torch Ginger
Photo via

How to Grow and Care

Growing Torch Ginger is possible in a range of soil types. A major problem when growing Torch Ginger plants is potassium deficiency. Potassium is necessary for the correct uptake of water, which is necessary for the optimum growth of this large plant.

Add potassium to the soil before growing Torch Gingers by working it into unplanted beds to about a foot (30 cm) deep. Organic means of adding potassium include the use of greensand, kelp, or granite meal. Test the soil.

When growing these plants in established beds, fertilize with a food that is high in potassium. This is the third number on the fertilizer ratio displayed on the packaging. Once the potassium is right in the soil, watering, an important part of learning how to grow torch ginger successfully, will be more beneficial. See more at How to Grow and Care for Torch Ginger (Etlingera elatior).

You can propagate Torch Ginger by a division of rhizomes or sowing ripe seeds. See more at How to Plant Torch Ginger Seeds.


Native to Malaysia and Indonesia.


BACK TO genus Etlingera
PLANTOPEDIA: Browse flowering plants by Scientific Name, Common NameGenusFamily or Origin

Photo Gallery

Subscribe now and be up to date with our latest news and updates.

We participate in the Amazon Services, LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliate sites.