The Torch Ginger, IIM-B, 231216

December 24, 2016


Here’s the stunning-looking

Torch Ginger

which, in the gathering dusk of a winter evening, certainly lived up to its name.

The scientific name of this plant is Etlingera elatior, which, frankly, I am never going to remember, so I’m putting it down here. This is a star attraction on the campus of

Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore

where I’d gone to conduct a birding/nature “walk-talk” for the faculty and their families.

The showy pink flowers are used in decorative arrangements, but the plant is also used in several cuisines. In North Sumatra (especially in Karo tribe), the flower buds are used for a stewed fish is called Arsik ikan mas (Andaliman/Szechuan pepper-spiced carp). In Bali, people use the white part of the bottom trunk for cooking a chilli sauce called “Sambal Bongkot”, and use the flower buds to make a chilli sauce called “Sambal Kecicang”. In Thailand, it is eaten in a kind of Thai salad preparation.

The plant, says the wiki entry, has the highest antioxidant and antibacterial properties amongst the five species of Etlingera.

Well, I didn’t feel the need to eat this beautiful flower…I was content to photograph it and capture its beauty.