Meet The Plants
- IUCN: not evaluated
- USFWS: None
Species Author: (Jack) R. M. Sm.
Vernacular: Torch Ginger, 'Awapuhi-ko'oko'o
Synonyms: Nicolaia elatior, Phaeomeria magnifica
Torch Ginger is a coarse herb growing in large clumps of 3-6 m high. The leaves are up to 85 x 18 cm. The inflorescence comes out of the ground instead of the terminal spike, thus making it easier to cut as a cut flower. The bracts are cherry red with yellow edges. As the bracts open up, the lower bract leaves turn down revealing a cone shaped torch. The inner perianth segments are pink, the labellum is red with a yellow or white margin and the anther is red. The fruits are green to reddish. This is an exceptional ginger with a very exotic look, well suited for the garden or greenhouse but needing plenty of room to grow. Gingers are distinguished by the presence of a labellum, formed by the fusion of two sterile stamens, and by the presence of essential oils in their tissues. (Smith, A. C. 1979. Flora Vitiensis nova: A New Flora of Fiji. NTBG.)
Torch Ginger is widely distributed in Malaysia. Subsequently it has been introduced into the Philippines and now is widely cultivated elsewhere. (Smith, A. C. 1979. Flora Vitiensis nova: A New Flora of Fiji. NTBG.) (Information for this species compiled and recorded by Camelia Cirnaru, NTBG Consultant.)