Cheilocostus speciosus or better known as Crepe Ginger is also known as Pacing in Indonesia. This plant has many other names according to the regional language in Indonesia.
Pacing or crepe ginger is also called caña americana in Spanish, bi qiao jiang in Chinese and changalakoshta or keokanda kostam in Indian languages (J Rojas-Sandoval, 2022).
In Java, this plant is known as pacing, plain flour, poncang - pancing and Bunto. In the Sumatran region, this plant is known as tabar - tabar, kelacim, setawar, bargain - bargain, fresh cane, tubu - tubu, sitawar, tawa - tawa and totar. In the Sulawesi region, this plant is known as lingkuwas, lincuas, palai Batang, tampung Tawara, galoba utan or flour flour. Meanwhile, in the Maluku region, this plant is known as muri - muri, tebe pusa, tehu lopu, uga - uga and tehe tepu.
Various sources state that this plant originates from Southeast Asia and surrounding areas, from India to China then Queensland, especially the Greater Sunda Islands in Indonesia. A report also states that this plant has been naturalized in Puerto Rico, Mauritius, Réunion, Fiji, Hawaii, Costa Rica, Belize, Melanesia, Micronesia and the West Indies.
Pacing is a plant that grows upright to a height of up to 3 meters. Growth Form This is a large perennial herb, with stems up to 3 m tall. The leaves are lance-shaped and oval with a length of about 15 to 20 cm. Its short-stemmed leaves are arranged spirally along slender stems. The stems are reddish.
The pointed flowers are dark red, ovate-oval in shape, and with a height between 12 and 15 cm. The flowers appear between the bracts, are white, funnel-like with a yellow center, measuring 6 to 8 cm wide. The flowers are visited by bees, butterflies, and sunbirds.
The fruit is produced in a redwood capsule 1.5 cm wide. Each contains many shiny black seeds that split open when ripe. This plant grows in open, moist places and is generally found on the outskirts of lowland forests.
Impact of Pacing or Crepe Ginger to the Environment
A report states that this species is an invasive species that has the potential to form dense thickets and displace native vegetation, especially in humid and wet habitats. In Cuba, this species has been classified as a 'modifying species', with the potential to alter the character, condition, form, and nature of the ecosystem it invades (J Rojas-Sandoval, 2022).
How to Plant
Pacing can be planted in tropical climates with full sun or tends to be shaded. This plant requires a lot of water and will grow well in moist, fertile soil. This species can be propagated by seed or stem cuttings.
Pacing as Food
Pacing as food, especially as fruit and vegetables, is consumed by rural communities in Southeast Asia and India.
In Sarawak, the tender young shoots are fried with fermented anchovies and shrimp paste known as Belachan. The flowers are edible, often used in salads or added as a garnish, the rhizomes are cooked in curries or used to make syrup (NParks | Cheilocostus Speciosus, 2022).
Benefits of Pacing in Medicine
A report states that this plant has been used in the pharmaceutical industry as a natural source of diosgenin, a steroidal sapogenin used for the synthesis of sex hormones, cortisone and oral contraceptives (J Rojas-Sandoval, 2022).