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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It spreads by seeds and by rhizome division and has the potential to grow forming dense thickets principally in moist habitats Ibrahim and Setyowati, ; Abdelmageed et al. The family Zingiberaceae, with more than species, is the largest of eight families included in the order Zingiberales Kress, ; Kress et al.

The ginger family has a pantropical distribution, with a centre of diversity in the Malesian biogeographic region Kress, ; Kress et al. The genus Etlingera includes approximately species distributed in tropical and subtropical Indo-Malesia and tropical Australia Stevens, Several etlnigera of E. The forms with pink involucral bracts are normally consumed as a spice.

The forms with red or deep red bracts and leaves that are permanently purplish underneath, are more commonly used as an ornamental or as cut flowers, although the pink-bracted ones are equally popular.

The white-bracted form is very rare and occurs in the wild. There are two flower types, one with a white-edged labellum the cultivated ones and the other with a yellow-edged labellum which is considered the wild type Ibrahim and Setyowati, Pseudostems shoots m tall. Leaves numerous; ligule to 1. Fruiting head greenish or reddish, globose, However, this species is widely cultivated and can be found naturalized in tropical and subtropical regions worldwide see distribution table for details; Ibrahim and Setyowati, ; Acevedo and Strong, The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available.

When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

In tropical America, it is often commercialized as a cut-flower and hedge plant Chacon, The date of introduction of E. It was probably introduced during the last century from Malaysia and Indonesia Java, Sumatra; Ibrahim and Setyowati, The risk of introduction of E.


The species and many cultivars are widely commercialized as ornamentals in tropical and subtropical regions of the world. Because the species spreads by seeds and rhizome fragments, the potential to colonize new habitats is high.

It has the potential to colonize shaded habitats and relatively unaltered forests Ibrahim and Setyowati, ; Chacon, ; Sakai et al. The chromosome number reported for E. Within its native distribution range i. Flowering occurs throughout the year and continuous harvesting is possible Ibrahim and Setyowati, It is tolerant to acid soils and shaded conditions and has a medium drought tolerance Ibrahim and Setyowati, ; Hammel et al.

Zingiberaceae plants are frequently infected with pathogens such as rhizome rot caused by Phythium species and leaf spot due to Colletotrichum species Keng and Hing, In cultivation, it is propagated primarily by rhizome fragments Ibrahim and Setyowati, It produces fleshy fruits facilitating its dispersal by animals including birds, bats, ants and rodents PROTA, This species has the potential to grow forming dense thickets and to outcompete native vegetation.

It is also able to invade shaded areas beneath the canopy of primary and secondary forests including areas in relatively unaltered native forests Ibrahim and Setyowati, ; Hammel et al.

It is also cultivated on a commercial scale as a cut-flower in Hawaii and Australia Wagner et al. In Southeast Asia, flowers, fruits, and young and tight buds are consumed by humans as spice in curries, fish soups, stir-fried vegetables and salads. In southeastern Asia, it is also used in traditional medicine. A decoction of its fruit is traditionally used to treat earache while a decoction of the leaves may be applied for cleansing wounds. The stem is made into matting in Sumatra.

The stems also have potential as raw material for the manufacture of paper. The rhizome is reported to yield a yellow dye Ibrahim and Setyowati, The essential oils of E.

Torch ginger

Antioxidative constituents were determined by Mohamed et al. Micropropagation of Etlingera elatior Zingiberaceae etllngera using axillary bud explants. Journal of Medicinal Plants Research, 5 Contributions from the United States National Herbarium, Catalogue of the Seed Plants of the West Indies. Smithsonian Contributions to Botany, Las plantas invasoras en Costa Rica: Antioxidant and antibacterial wtlingera of leaves of Etlingera species Zingiberaceae in Peninsular Malaysia.


Food Chemistry, 4: A checklist of the total vascular plant flora of Singapore: Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, pp. Chromosome counts of some zingiberaceous species from Thailand.

Songklanakarin Journal of Science and Technology, Flora of China Editorial Committee, A geographical checklist of the Micronesian monocotyledonae. World Checklist of Zingiberaceae. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

Antioxidative constituents of Etlingera elatior.

Journal of Natural Products, 68 2: Manual of plants of Costa Rica. Manual eltaior Plantas de Costa Rica. Checklist of the vascular plants of Pohnpei with local names and uses. Ibrahim H; Setyowati FM, Listado de las Plantas Vasculares del Departamento de Antioquia: Analysis of essential oils of leaves, stems, flowers and rhizomes of Etlingera elatior Jack RM Smith.

The Malaysian Journal of Analytical Sciences, Antioxidant effects of Etlingera elatior flower extract against lead acetate-induced perturbations in free radical scavenging enzymes and lipid peroxidation in rats. BMC Research Notes, 4: Catalogue of the vascular plants of Ecuador. In vitro propagation of Zingiberaceae species with medicinal properties. Journal of Plant Biotechnology, 6: Kittipanangkul N; Elaitor C, Walailak Journal of Science and Technology, 3: The phylogeny and classification of the Zingiberales.

Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden, The phylogeny and a new classification of the gingers Zingiberaceae: American Journal of Botany, 89 Catalogue of introduced and cultivated plants in New Caledonia. Antimicrobial and cytotoxic properties of some Malaysian traditional vegetables ulam.

International Journal of Pharmacognosy, 35 3: Cook Islands Biodiversity Database, Version Cook Islands Biodiversity Database. Cook Islands Natural Heritage Trust.

Etlingera elatior – Useful Tropical Plants

Missouri Botanical Garden, Congo – Rwanda elatir Burundi. Pacific Islands Ecosystems at Risk. Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.

A Global Compendium of Weeds. Department of Agriculture and Food Western Australia, pp. Variation in the strength of association among pollination systems and floral traits: American Journal of Botany, 3: A new flora of Fiji. National Tropical Botanical Garden, pp. The flora of Nauru.

Atoll Research Bulletin, National Germplasm Resources Laboratory. Manual of the flowering plants of Hawaii. Invasive alien plants elafior China: Biological Invasions, 10 8:

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