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).