Curcuma australasica facts for kids
Quick facts for kidsNative turmeric
|Curcuma australasica, native turmeric.|
- Curcuma - from the Sanskrit name for turmeric, kuṅkuma.
- australasica - for Australian.
Curcuma australasica is the only Australian native of the 100 or more species of Curcuma found world-wide. It occurs on Cape York Peninsula in Queensland, a few areas in the Northern Territory and in Papua New Guinea. It is typically found growing in moist pockets in sandstone areas, and in wet woodland and forest areas. It grows well in containers where it is often cultivated for its very beautiful, long-lasting flower. C. australasica can be propagated by division, and prefers to be well-watered in summer and allowed to dry in winter, in correspondence with Monsoonal patterns.
The native form is usually less than 500 mm (20 in) tall, with long green leaves (140-450 x 60–190 mm), pleated. Flowers 15–20 mm, November to March in Queensland, normally yellow on a spike with pink, red, mauve or green bracts. Occasionally a white form is found in the wild - see accompanying photograph.
The Aboriginal Gugu Yimithirr language name is kumbigi. Aboriginal people in the Cape York Peninsula area traditionally roasted and ate the rhizomes of this plant.
IUCN Red List status: not evaluated, but very common and widespread in Queensland.
Curcuma australasica Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.