Sp. P1.: 2 (1753), nom. cons.
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)
Widely distributed in tropical Australasia from India to Queensland.
Comprises about 50 species. Curcuma is a diverse and complex genus in need of much study and revision.
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