Family • Zingiberaceae - Kolowratia elegans Presl

Other scientific names

Renealmia gracilis Blanco
Renealmia exaltata Blanco
Hellenia gracilis Hassk.
Alpinia gracilis Rolfe
Alpinia elegans K. Schum.

Common names

Bagombon (Tag.)
Katkatan (Bis.)
Katotang (Bis.)
Salbak (Tag.)
Tagbak (Tag.)
Tugbak (Tag.)

Tagbak is a stout herbaceous plant growing to a height of 2 to 4 meters, with stout rootstocks. Stems are swollen at the base and leafy throughout. Leaves are leathery, spreading or reflexed, oblong-ovate to lanceolate, 25 to 60 cm long, 5 to 20 cm wide with a pointed tip. Petioles are short and stout. Inflorerscence is about 30 cm long, the base of the peduncle having oblong-lanceolate, chartaceous, 8 to 12 cm long bracts. The branches are about 8, scattered, spreading, stout, about 5 cm long, covered with persistent bracts, each branch bearing several flowers, opening one at a time. Calyx is 4 cm long; the corolla , pale straw-colored, about 7 cm long. Capsule is ellipsoid, woody and 3 to 4 cm long, split into 3 valves and crowned by a persistent calyx.


In thickets along streams, at low and medium altitudes.

Parts utilized

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADecoction of rhizomes used for hemoptysis.
Pounded leaves, mixed with a little salt rubbed on paralyzed extremities.
Juice from macerated young stems used for urticaria.

Study Findings
• Antimicrobial: Studies on the antimicrobial properties of Zingiber purpureum Rosc. and Kolowratia elegans Presl. (Family Zingiberaceae)
• Pacovatinins A-C:: Study isolated three new labdane diterpenoids, pacovatinins A-C from the seeds of the Brazilian plant Renealmia exaltata.
• Renealtins A and B:: Study isolated two new diarylheptanoids, renealtins A and B from the seeds of R exaltata.