Etlingera elatior, Phaeomeria speciosa, Nicolaio elatior, Torch Ginger

Etlingera elatior, Phaeomeria speciosa, Nicolaio elatior

Torch Ginger
Family: Zingiberaceae
Origin: Tropical Asia
Large shrub 5-10 ft tallSmall plant 2-5 ftSemi-shadeFull sunRegular waterRed, crimson, vinous flowersWhite, off-white flowersPink flowersFragrant plant

Etlingera elatior, better known as Torch Ginger, is a large, evergreen herbaceous shrub native to Tropical Asia that grows 5 to 10 feet in height. It's known for its attractive, elongated and colorful flower heads which can range in color from white to off-white, pink, crimson and vinous, and boast a pleasing fragrance. What's more, the edible flower heads are also popularly eaten both raw and cooked in Malaysia.

Torch Ginger is an easy-to-maintain plant that is quite hardy and can tolerate strong winds. When it comes to growing this plant, it requires full sun or light shade and rich, well drained soils, and regular watering. It is considered an excellent garden plant in most Tropical and Subtropical climates, and hardy enough to be grown in USDA Zone 9-11.

For those who live in colder, more temperate climates, this plant can still be grown in a pot and overwintered indoors. To do this, it's important to maintain the pot in a sheltered spot and protect it from the cold. During winter, keep the soil moist and provide indirect light. Come spring, you can move your Torch Ginger outdoors again to help it thrive.

All in all, Torch Ginger is an attractive, large shrub that is native to Tropical Asia, providing multi-colored, fragrant flowers for most of the year. It's a relatively low maintenance plant that is easy to care for, and can be grown in pots for those in colder regions.

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