BPotD Archives being removed

Please do not link to these pages! The new site is up at http://botanyphoto.botanicalgarden.ubc.ca/. These pages are gradually being removed as we update the content on the new site.

Etlingera elatior

Etlingera elatior

Today's image is courtesy of Monika (aka monika&manfred@Flickr) of Vienna, Austria (original | BPotD Flickr Group Pool). Much appreciated!

Now cultivated throughout the tropics, torch ginger is thought to be native to Indonesia, Malaysia and southern Thailand (via Flora of China), though other sites suggest a native distribution restricted to a few islands in Indonesia. Whatever its origin, widescale planting of Etlingera elatior has made torch ginger the hallmark species of this genus of approximately 70 species. That's a very loose approximation, because researcher Dr. Axel Dalberg Poulsen reports that Borneo alone contains 29 species, 10 of which were undescribed as of 2003 via this poster on the ecological and economic qualities of Etlingera. Dr. Poulsen also has a small photo gallery of Etlingera as well as photographs from his late 2006 / early 2007 field trip to Papua New Guinea (also discussed here).

An illustration of the flower from the 1880 work “Fleurs, fruits et feuillages choisis de l'ille de Java : peints d'après nature by Berthe Hoola van Nooten can be seen here (note that it uses a synonym for Etlingera elatior, Elettaria speciosa).


Wonderful shot!

The current issue (June 2007) of National Geographic has a delightful featured article on Carl Linnaeus entitled "The Name Giver" A Passion For ORDER. Try it out online at


and for desktop photos of blooms classified by Linnaeus, go to


WOW!! Amazing, never seen anything like it. Fantastic photo and the flower looks really special.
Thanks for showing it!!!

simply beautiful

I followed all your suggested links and had an amazing morning of armchair travel, art, Pacific Islander culture and botany. The photo was just the beginning...Thanks!

Thanks, Daniel, what a beautiful flower. I really enjoy seeing all the beautiful pictures you post!!!! Thanks so much for sharing them with us and acquainting us with the world of flora we wouldn't otherwise know about. I wish I lived closer to UBC and could visit your gardens!!!!

The article about Karl Linnaeus says he was an 'information architect' and the key to his work was persistent and careful observation coupled with a system. And, I would add, a universal language. Yes, the photos are lovely. But the system is sexy. Oh, his family name is from the Linden tree, a beautiful tall tree with flowers the bees love.

Such a very beautiful that I ever seen

Too beautiful for words!!!

hi ,
i really enjoy looking at the monika i think it is and also reding it was so fab i tell you

I loved your Van Nooten illustration. Thanks for the link
Art and Architecture, mainly

a place of mind, The University of British Columbia

UBC Botanical Garden and Centre for Plant Research
6804 SW Marine Drive, Vancouver, B.C., V6T 1Z4
Tel: 604.822.3928
Fax: 604.822.2016 Email: garden.info@ubc.ca

Emergency Procedures | Accessibility | Contact UBC | © Copyright The University of British Columbia