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Herbaceous PerennialConservatory GreenhouseHerbs - Culinary

Curcuma longa

common turmeric

An upright tropical, herbaceous perennial producing stems to 1m (39in) high which grow from underground fleshy rhizomes. The leaves are alternate and appear in opposite rows along the stem. They are thin and oblong to lance-shaped, with pointed tips and are dark green above and light green below. Yellow to white tubular flowers appear in a cupped rosette bracts at the end of the flowering stem. The plant has been cultivated for thousands of years for the spice turmeric which is derived from the rhizome. As a result it has become totally domesticated over time and unable to set fruit, meaning that its reproduction can only be achieved vegetatively from dividing its rhizomes.

Other common names
turmeric
Synonyms
Curcuma domestica
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Size
Ultimate height
0.5–1 metres
Time to ultimate height
2–5 years
Ultimate spread
0.1–0.5 metres
Growing conditions
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Moist but well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Green
Summer Yellow White Green
Autumn Green
Winter Green
Position
  • Partial shade
Aspect

East–facing or South–facing or West–facing

Exposure
Hardiness
H1A
Botanical details
Family
Zingiberaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Evergreen
Habit
Clump forming, Columnar upright
Name status

Unresolved

Plant range
India, Malaysia

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How to grow

Cultivation

Grow in a well-drained but moisture retentive soil, rich in organic matter and in indirect, bright light and in a warm conservatory, greenhouse or window indoors, in temperatures no lower than 18°C (65°F)

Propagation

Propagate by division

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Patio and container plants
  • Sub-tropical
  • Conservatory and greenhouse
Pruning

remove old, yellowed stems as necessary

Pests

Generally pest-free

Diseases

Generally disease-free

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