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Curcuma L.
Sp. P1.: 2 (1753), nom. cons.

Description:
     Low, rhizomatous herbs; roots often with tubers. Leaf blade often with violet bands on either side of the midrib. Inflorescence ± cylindric, either terminal on the leafy shoot or on a separate leafless shoot; bracts large, broad, apex recurved, laterally connate to each other in the lower part, forming pouches around the several-flowered cincinni, terminal ones often sterile and differently coloured (coma); bracteole open to the base; flowers white, yellow, red, or violet; calyx short, unequally 3-dentate and split halfway on one side; corolla tube adnate to the staminal tube over its entire length; lateral staminodes elliptic-oblong, inner edges partly covered by the cucullate dorsal petal; labellum conspicuous and pendulous, obovate; filament short and broad, anther versatile, connective sometimes with a short crest, basally with 2 curved spurs; ovary 3-locular. Capsule ellipsoid, liberating the seeds into the mucilage of the bract pouches; seeds with lacerate aril. 2n 42, 63, 66, 84. (From Kubitzki, et al. p. 484)

Geographical Distribution:
     Widely distributed in tropical Australasia from India to Queensland.

Taxonomic Diversity:
     Comprises about 50 species. Curcuma is a diverse and complex genus in need of much study and revision.

Drawing of Curcuma arracanensis by Alice Tangerini
Curcuma roscoeana Wall.
Curcuma roscoeana Wall.
Curcuma longa L.
Curcuma ceratotheca K. Schum.

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