Kasthurimanjal is one of the two main types of turmeric found in India. Also known by the names Wild Turmeric or Musk Turmeric, it is popular for its aroma and therapeutic purposes. Its scientific name is Curcuma
When people generally speak of turmeric, it usually refers to Curcuma longa. It is more commonly cultivated throughout India.
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Plant Type: Perennial Herb
Scientific name: Curcuma aromatica
Height: nearly 1 meter
Flowers: Pink color, flowers during April & May
English: Wild Turmeric
Malayalam: Kasthurimanjal, Kattumanjal
Sanskrit: Vana Haridra, Karpura Haridra
Distribution: Native to India, South Asia
C.aromatica has some key characteristics which distinguish it from C.longa. The former flowers during the months of April and May while the other during August.
Wild Turmeric has very long leaves with the plant growing to an overall height of about 1 meter. The oblong leaves have pointed tips and long petioles.
The flowers are pink with several lobes. They stand tall during the season, which itself is a pleasing sight. There are numerous yellow bracts around it.
In contrast, C.longa has simpler flowers usually with light green lobes.
Due to its economic importance, wild turmeric is widely cultivated in India and other parts of South Asia.
Just like other herbs in the ginger family, propagation is by means of rhizomes.