The torch ginger is throwing up striking flowers in the Palm House.
Members of the ginger family (Zingiberaceae) originate in the tropics, with most occurring in Indomalaysia, and growing in humid, lowland regions, though some, such as Roscoea, occur in cooler, high altitude zones. All members of the family are rhizomatous, have simple leaves, are aromatic, and have striking inflorescences. The torch ginger (Etlingeria elatior) originates from Thailand, Malaysia and New Guinea, where it grows in moist soils in tropical regions. It has ribbed, leathery foliage, and flower stems which can reach 5m. At the tip of these sits a cone-like inflorescence, which comprises many petal-like red bracts containing additional smaller bracts upon which sit the small flowers. The generic name honours the German botanist Ernst Etlinger, while the specific name elatior comes from the Latin word elatus meaning tall.