Upper North Shore Sydney Australia

Turmeric

Tumeric

Cape York Turmeric bract

Curcuma domestica Valet, Curcuma rotunda Curcuma longa

CAPE YORK TURMERIC (Curcuma australasica)

Part of the ginger family (Zingiberaceae) this flowering perennial is a broad leaf tropical looking plant, about 1 metre in height, producing a spectacular flower stem in summer.

DOMESTIC TURMERIC has small yellow flowers and striking white bracts.

CAPE YORK TURMERIC is beautiful Australian native turmeric with small yellow flowers and striking hot pink bracts.

Favourite Growing Conditions

Full sun with slight afternoon shade suits these plants they thrive in temperate to semi tropical conditions and will slowly spread to form large clumps unless thinned in winter.

Planting

A mature root will have several branches or fingers to it. You can cut these apart to start a plant from each if you wish. Select a fresh rhizome finger or root and plant it under 10-15cm (2 inches) of loose, damp potting soil. If there are any knobs or buds turn it so they are facing upwards.  Keep the soil damp but not wet and shoots will appear after about a month.  Turmeric can be grown indoors in a large container about 30cm deep.

Plant Care

Feed with mature compost during the growing period and mulch around the plants during spring and summer to keep their soil damp.  In temperate zones the plants will die back in winter and need less water.  Pollination is not required

Harvesting

The root Rhizoma Curcumae is harvested (when the foliage dies back) in the winter and is used in food to add a brilliant yellow colour.  In the fresh state, the rhizome has aromatic and spicy scents of orange or ginger and is tasty raw.  Try to eat fresh, if storing the root the flavour changes to earthy and less pleasant.

It is propagated by cuttings from the root.

Ground Turmeric comes from fingers which extend from the root. It is boiled or steamed and then dried, and ground. When drying the rhizome the flavour changes again to a more pungent, bitter flavour with medicinal aroma. Similarly, the colour and flavour of ground turmeric tends to fade if the spice is stored too long.

Turmeric is one of the best-researched herbs for pharmacological effects beneficial for health.  Turmeric helps the body detoxify by stimulating bile production from the gallbladder and helping to cleanse and protect the liver. Because of its assistance to the body’s detoxifying methods, turmeric is often used to help treat acne, arthritis, heavy metal toxicity, high cholesterol etc.

References

http://www.turmericinfo.com/

http://www.greenmedinfo.com/substance/turmeric

8 thoughts on “Turmeric”

  1. Di Kelly says:

    Interested in any information you can suggest regarding the growing and supply of native tumeric. We at a native nursery that is looking at divesitfying out of necessariity. Thank you for any help you can offer, cheers Di Kelly

    1. Brenda Debenham says:

      Hi Di,
      The beautiful Hunter Valley Wallis Creek Watergarden currently has stock of this rhizome as does Mullibimby’s Shaman Australis Botanicals. Daleys also sell this but are currently out of stock. Buy online and happy propagating.

  2. Helen Connor says:

    Hello I have just sorted my native turmeric bulbs out of last years pot. I have found they have grown extensions to the actual bulb. Do I cat these of or re-pot them as is.I live in Townsville
    Awaiting you reply
    Helen

  3. Helen Connor says:

    Hello I have just sorted my native turmeric bulbs out of last years pot. I have found they have grown extensions to the actual bulb. Do I cut these of or re-pot them as is.I live in Townsville
    Awaiting you reply
    Helen

    1. Brenda Debenham says:

      Hi Helen lucky you! Your Turmeric root has grown several extensions or ‘fingers’ on it. You can cut these off the main rhizome and plant them. The easiest way to get some to sprout is to just bury these roots under 2 inches of loose, damp potting soil. If there are any knobs or buds on the root, turn it so they face upwards.
      I like to blitz my fresh Turmeric with equal parts of ginger and then freeze the paste in ice cube trays. So versatile to use in food just watch out for the yellow staining.

  4. jack says:

    Hi there Helen and Brenda,

    Would either of you be willing to sell me some native turmeric? I am desperate to try it!!! I want to use it for culinary purposes.

    Jack dealehr

    1. Helen Connor says:

      JACK
      MINE HAVEN’T FLOWERED YET.
      I divided them will let you know when they have finished flowering

      1. Brenda Debenham says:

        Hi Helen I haven’t any growing currently so thanks for offering to Jack.

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