Deceptive Curcuma
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Deceptive Curcuma
ative Photo: Dinesh Valke
Common name: Deceptive Curcuma • Hindi: जंगली हलदी jangli haldi, वन हलदी van haldi • Malayalam: കുഴിക്കൂവ kuzhikkoova • Marathi: जांभळी रानहळद jambhali ranhalad
Botanical name: Curcuma decipiens    Family: Zingiberaceae (Ginger family)

Deceptive Curcuma is a rhizome forming herb, rhizome 3-5 x 2 cm, ovoid-conical, pale yellow-white. Roots are fleshy, root-tubers 2.5-3 x 2 cm, ovoid, white inside. Leafy shoots are 1-2 ft tall. Leaves are distichous, 2-4, blade 10-30 x 5-15 cm, broadly ovate, base slightly heart-shaped, tip triangular with a small cusp, hairless. Leaf-stalks is as long as the blade. Inflorescences are both lateral and central; peduncle 6-10 cm long. Flower spike is 4-6 x 2-3 cm. Coma bracts are many, about 5 x 1 cm, lower green with purple tip, upper deep purple-pink. Fertile bracts are upto 4 x 3 cm, tip broad, rounded, recurved, green with purple-pink tips, minutely pubescent on the outer surface, lower half fused; bracteoles small, outer 8 x 4 mm, inner 4 x 3 mm, triangular, light pink or white with pink spots, pubescent. Flowers are 4.5 cm long, 1 or 2 in each bract. Calyx 1-1.2 cm long, truncate, tip shortly 3-lobed, white with pink spots, minutely pubescent. Corolla tube 2 cm long, funnel-shaped, deep purple; lobes unequal, deep purple; dorsal lobe 1.5 x 1.3-1.5 cm, apiculate; lateral lobes 1.3 x 0.7 cm, ovate-oblong. Labellum 1.5 x 1.5 cm, tip slightly 3-lobed, midlobe emarginate, purple towards base, glandular hairs on inner side. Fruit is 1 x 0.5 cm, ovoid, hairy; seeds many, 5 x 2 mm, oblong, brown with a white spot at the tip, aril white, lacerate.

Identification credit: Shrikant Ingalhalikar
Photographed in Sindhudurg, Maharashtra.
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