Etlingera elatior

Etlingera elatior.

Family Zingiberaceae > Subfamily Alpinioideae > Tribe Alpinieae.
There are around 100 species from Asia and 1 from Australia.

Torch, Red or Wild Ginger is native to Malaysia.
It is a widely cultivated perennial plant.
Growing from fleshy rhizomes they can form clumps.

Arching stems are mostly pseudo stems made of the overlapping leaf bases.
They are commonly around 4 to 5 m high but can reach 8 m.

The lance shaped leaves are alternately arranged.
The leathery leaves have reddish petioles.
Up to 90 cm long they have a depressed midvein on the upper surface.
The ligules are sometimes bilobed.

Naked stems, up to 1 m high, carry a single, cone-like inflorescence.
While developing it is protected by large, bright red bracts.
There are smaller red bracts between the multiple flowers.

The small flowers have parts in threes.
The fused sepals form a tubular calyx.
The corolla has a tubular base with 3 shorter lobes.
The petals can be yellow or red.

There are 6 stamens but only 1, in the inner whorl, is fertile.
The other 2 staminodes in the inner circle are fused to form the labellum.
One or more of the staminodes in the outer whorl may be missing.

The labellum has 3 lobes and is the most prominent part of the flower.
The lateral lobes fold over the fertile stamen.

The ovary has 3 locules each with numerous ovules.
The fruit are schizocarps.