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Etlingera elatior (Red)


Etlingera elatior (Red)

Family Name: Zingiberaceae
Common Name: Red Torch Ginger, Wax Flower, 玫瑰姜, 火炬姜, 瓷玫瑰


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Infraspecific Epithet
Name Status (botanical)
Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Monocotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Herbaceous Plant
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Maximum Height 3.7 m to 6 m

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form Large herbaceous plant growing to about 3-6 m tall.
Foliage The banana leaf-like leaves are green and lanceolate with wavy leaf margins (up to 85 cm long). There is a distinct groove along the midrib.
Stems The aboveground stem is produced from an underground, horizontal stem known as a rhizome.
Flowers The cone-shaped, terminal, spike inflorescence is composed of numerous showy red bracts with white margins. The true flowers are small, inconspicuous and yellow. The flower stalk (or peduncle) is produced from the underground horizontal stem (known as a rhizome) and grows up to 1 m tall.
Fruits The hairy, green-red fleshy fruits are produced in a large head (10 cm long, 10 cm wide). They are indehiscent capsules with a warty or ridged surface.
Cultivation It grows best in semi-shade in well-drained, consistently moist soil. Apply mulch to help maintain soil moisture.
Ethnobotanical Uses Edible Plant Parts (Edible Flowers)
Food (Herb and Spice : The floral stalk is added to curries and noodle soups.)

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Flowers
Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Moist Soils

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Fauna Pollination Dispersal Associated Fauna Bird Attracting

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Semi-Shade, Full Sun
Water Preference Lots of Water
Propagation Method Division


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Leathery
Leaf Area Index (LAI) for Green Plot Ratio 3.5 (Shrub & Groundcover - Monocot)

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower Colour(s) Red
Flower Texture(s) Waxy, Thick / Fleshy
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence
Flower Location Terminal
Flowering Period Free-Flowering
Flower Lifespan on Plant Several Weeks
Flowering Habit Polycarpic

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) - Angiosperms and Gymnosperms Green, Red
Mature Fruit Texture(s) Smooth, Hairy / Hirsute
Fruit Classification Simple Fruit
Fruit Type 1 Indehiscent Dry Fruit
Fruit Type 2 Capsule

Image Repository



Master ID 696
Species ID 1991
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 14 October 2021.