Count Your Blessings!

With love and passion, everyone can have a nice garden...Elaine Yim

Count Your Blessings!
Count The Garden By The Flowers, Never By The Leaves That Fall.
Count Your Life With Smiles And Not The Tears That Roll.
..... Author unknown.

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Malaysian Flora USDA Zone 11
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Friday, June 19, 2009

Bunga Kantan, The Torch Ginger Flower

Bunga Kantan, Bunga Siantan, Torch Ginger Flower
(Etlingera Elatior)

My bunga kantan plant is grown from a rhizome. It was dug out from the garden of a friend in Ipoh. Like me, she also loves gardening. The mother plant was given to her by a kind makcik neighbour who lives a few doors away. Through gardening, we became friends and made more friends.

This plant loves a lot of water, full sun and well drained soil. I waited a long long time for it to bloom, I think a year or so.

Looks like a pink lotus.

No wonder they are also called torch flower.
This plant can grow fast and may reach 15 - 20 feet tall. I had a hard time cutting and disposing off the dried stems. I need to sharpen my chopper knife first before the cutting job and my usual pruning scissors won't do.

Great for cooking some yummy asam laksa, or seafood tom yam tonight. Yes! This is a flower I can eat and for health too. The flower, stems and leaves smells nice. In fact, the whole plant smells good. Makes a picturesque view too.


  1. WOW..these are really cool!! I've not seen this kind of ginger flower before! Do the blooms last a long time?

  2. lynn,
    This flower can last a few weeks from bud to full bloom. Together with the flower stalk, it is about 2-3 feet tall. Some species are dark red in colour. It certainly will look like a burning torch.

  3. Beautifull !!!
    See and
    Leave your comment

  4. Hi from the Gold Coast Australia,

    Our torch ginger plant is doing very well (over 8 ft high with many shoots). However it has never bloomed. We have been waiting for 7years for the flowers. How much sun does your plant get?

    Any hints as what we can do?


  5. This plant likes a lot of sun. It is a native plant that grows wild here. Our weather is very hot. I grow mine in the sunniest area. The ginger flower sellers advised me to water frequently and likes sandy soil. Mine started to bloom after I watered it more frequently. Once it started to bloom, it was continued until today.

  6. Hi, Can the rhizome be used for making spices like the galanggal?Susan Koh

    1. Susan, the Bunga Kantan rhizomes are not used on cooking. We only use the flower buds.

  7. Hi, can anyone enlighten me? I just came to know this plant.
    - Interested to know if both the bud & stem can be eaten? I simply love the aroma.
    - Is there a health benefit?
    - Difference of Bunga Kantan & Bunga Siantan?

    Thank you all.... :)

    1. We normally use the flower bud in cooking. Some people eat it raw. For health benefit you can do a google search. This is Bunga Kantan. Bunag Siantan is Ixora flower.

  8. Is bunga kantan the pink torch ginger? I live in the Gold Coast. Does anyone know how I could get the plant?


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