Siam Tulip
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Siam Tulip
P Introduced Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: Siam Tulip, Summer tulip
Botanical name: Curcuma alismatifolia    Family: Zingiberaceae (Ginger family)
Synonyms: Hitcheniopsis alismatifolia

Siam Tulip is a perennial herb producing clumps of erect, branchless stems up to 60 cm tall from a rhizome. Flowers are borne in a spike of overlapping pink bracts atop the flowering stem rising above the leaves. In addition to the beautiful pink bracts, small violet flowers emerge from the bracts, adding to its charm. Narrow elliptic leaves are quite attractive. The leaves resemble tulip leaves. That and the fact that the pink cup-like inflorescence singly atop a stop remind one of tulips, is the reason for its common name. The plant is harvested from the wild for its edible flowers, which are eaten locally in Thailand and neighboring areas. It is widely grown for the cut flower industry and is also often cultivated as an ornamental in gardens. Siam Tulip is native to Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, widely cultivated elsewhere.

Identification credit: Tabish Photographed in cultivation in Imphal, Manipur.

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