Indoor plants

Turmeric

Turmeric

It is the plant of the moment: everyone wants it and everyone talks about it, also because of the beneficial virtues of a spice that is obtained from its roots. We are talking about turmeric, a plant native to the Indies, Australia and South Asia, very popular in gardening, but also by modern phytotherapy. The herbal virtues of turmeric have been known since ancient times, as well as its culinary uses. Turmeric is widely used in Indian cooking, but also as a component of liqueurs. Due to its beauty, this plant is also grown in pots to decorate apartments. If conditions permit, its bulbs can also be planted in the garden. The cut flower can be used to make bridal bouquets. In short, with turmeric you can do many things, as long as you dedicate the correct cultivation attention to it. In the next paragraphs we will talk about the methods and needs of turmeric cultivation, but also about its characteristics and other curiosities.

Features


As already mentioned in the previous paragraph, turmeric is a plant of Asian origin. Belonging to the Zinziberacee family, turmeric is a close relative of ginger, even if its spices are less spicy than the latter, but still beneficial. There are about eighty different varieties of this species, all herbaceous, shrubby, bulbous and with perennial behavior. The plant has a fleshy stem from 45 to 70 centimeters high (depending on the variety) and with a spike-shaped inflorescence, composed of bracts (deformed leaves) that contain the flowers. The bracts are greener at the base, while they take on different colors in the apical part, from yellow, to pink, to white and violet. The leaves of the plant are green, fleshy, long and lanceolate. The botanical name of turmeric comes from Arabic and Sanskrit. The plant is also famously known as “Indian saffron”, from the color of the spice obtained from the powdered root, a color that is really yellow. There are many varieties of turmeric in nature, even if the simple name of the plant actually derives from a specific variety: curcuma longa. The characteristics and cultivation needs of the various species are similar, only the height of the stem and the color of the flowers changes.

Variety


As usual, in the list of the different varieties of turmeric, it is necessary to put before the fact that it is not possible to mention them all, also because, in the case of this plant, we usually refer to the most known and cultivated varieties. For completeness we can mention curcuma longa, curcuma alismatfolia, curcuma zedoaria, curcuma angustifolia, turmeric bicolor, curcuma sylvatica, curcuma grandifolia, colored turmeric and lanceolate turmeric. Curcuma longa is the best known and most cultivated variety, hence the simple name of the plant. In this variety the leaves are large and very elongated; the flowers are pink and the stem can reach a height of one meter. Turmeric alismatifolia has a seventy centimeter high stem, very long, lanceolate leaves, light green in color, and large, slightly pink flowers that make it similar to the Lotus. Turmeric zedoaria is used in the preparation of liqueurs; its flowers are yellow-pink. All the other varieties mentioned above are distinguished by some slight morphological differences concerning the color of the flowers, the shape and size of the leaves.

Cultivation


Turmeric is a plant native to humid and tropical countries, those rich in rain so to speak. Cultivating it is not difficult, as long as you know very well the cultural needs of this plant and its needs, both water and nutritional.

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