Wild turmeric

Scientific Name :
Curcuma aurantiaca Zijp
Synonym(s) :
Curcuma ecalcarata Sivar. & Indu
Local/Common name(s) :
Kattu-manjal, Wild turmeric
Family :
Zingiberaceae
Habit :
Herb
Flowering/Fruiting Time :
August-November
Habitat :
Moist deciduous and semi-evergreen forests, also in the plains
Endemic :
Yes
Status (IUCN) :
Distribution :
Western Ghats
Nativity :
Indigenous
Uses :
Medicine, food
Description (Morphology) :

Herbs, rhizome small, 3-5 x 2-2.5 cm, conical, yellow inside; roots many, fleshy; roots tubers fusiform, white inside. Leafy stems 30-45 cm high. Leaves bifarious, 20-30 x 10-15 cm, broadly ovate, acuminate, slightly and often unequally cordate at base; pubescent below near the midrib towards the base, profusely lepidote on the lower surface, sparsely lepidote on the upper surface; petiole 20-25 cm, minutely pubescent. Inflorescens central; peduncle 12-15 cm long, pubescent; spike 10-15 cm long, pubescent, with a distinct coma; coma bracts longer than the fertile ones, 4 x 3.5 cm, free or slightly adnate at base, bright rose in those with fertile bracts and greenish-white in those with fertile bracts; fertile bracts ca 3 x 2.5 cm, broadly rounded, tip recurved, green or rose; bracteoles ca 7 mm long, triangular with a longitudinal ridge at the back. Flowers 5-6 cm long. Calyx 1-1.3 cm long, truncate, 3-lobed at apex, deeply split on one side, pubescent. Corolla tube 2.5-3 cm long, lobes unequal; dorsal lobe 1.5 x 1 cm, oblong, concave, hooded and apiculate at tip; laterals 1.5 x 0.7 cm, oblong-obtuse, light yellow-orange. Labellum 3-lobed, lateral lobes rounded, middle lobe triangular, much exceeding the laterals, yellow or orange-yellow; lateral staminodes oblong-obtuse. Stamens yellow; filament broad; anther 4-5 mm long, thecae parallel, ecalcarate, connective broad, hooded at apex, glandular hairs on the back. Epigynous glands two, 4 mm long, cylindrical. Ovary pubescent, style long, filiform; stigma cup-like, hairy. Fruit obovoid, slightly trigonal, pubescent; seeds many obovoid; aril lacerate, lobes narrow, white.

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