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Etlingera elatior 'White Torch'


Etlingera elatior 'White Torch'

Family Name: Zingiberaceae
Common Name: White Torch Ginger


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
Plant Shape Shrubby
Maximum Height 5 m

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form Large perennial herb forming clumps up to 3-4.5 m tall.
Foliage The large, lanceolate leaves resemble banana leaves.
Stems Pseudostems emerge aboveground from an underground, horizontal stem known as a rhizome. The rhizome has a creeping habit, producing clumps of pseudostems.
Flowers The flower stem is produced by the rhizome (underground horizontal stem). The inflorescence is a spike or head composed of porcelain-white bracts embedded with tiny, yellow true flowers. The flowers are arranged in 3-4 concentric circles on a flat base known as a receptacle.
Fruit Fleshy, indehiscent fruits are known as capsules and contain many, black seeds. They are arranged in a round, fruiting head (2.5 cm wide)
Etymology Its specific epithet elatior means tall, which refers to the plant height.
Ethnobotanical Uses Food (Herb and Spice)

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Flowers, Ornamental Foliage
Landscape Uses General, Parks & Gardens
Thematic Landscaping Silver Garden, Naturalistic Garden

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Semi-Shade, Full Sun
Water Preference Lots of Water
Rootzone Tolerance Moist Soils
Propagation Method Seed, Division


Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Smooth, Leathery, Thick
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Venation Parallel
Leaf Area Index (LAI) for Green Plot Ratio 3.5 (Shrub & Groundcover - Monocot)

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower Colour(s) White, Yellow / Golden
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence
Flower Lifespan on Plant Several Days
Flowering Habit Polycarpic

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) Green, Red
Fruit Classification Simple Fruit
Fruit Type Fleshy Fruit , Non-Accessory Fruit
Mature Seed Colour(s) Black

Image Repository



Master ID 697
Species ID 1992
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: 13 September 2023.