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Useful Tropical Plants

Curcuma zanthorrhiza

Roxb.

Zingiberaceae


Some treatments spell the specific name with an 'X' rather than a 'Z', as Curcuma xanthorrhiza. However, we have followed the spelling as given in Kew's 'World Checklist of Selected Plant Families' and the 'Flora of China'[
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
].

+ Synonyms

Common Name: Amboina

Curcuma zanthorrhiza
The dried and broken rhizome, for medicinal use.
Photograph by: Danny Steven S.
Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0

General Information

Curcuma zanthorrhiza is a herbaceous, perennial plant producing a cluster of erect pseudostems up to 2 metres tall from an underground rhizome. Each pseudostem is made up of up to 8 leaves with blades that can be 40 - 90cm long and 15 - 21cm wide[
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
,
989
Title
The Gardens' Bulletin, Singapore. Vol. 13
Publication
 
Author
 
Publisher
Government Printing Office, Singapore
Year
1950
ISBN
 
Description
A botanical journal, it includes a treatment of the Zingiberaceae of the Malay Peninsula.
].
An important herb in traditional Indonesian medicine, it is harvested from the wild and is also commonly cultivated, mainly on a garden scale, in Java, Peninsular Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand, occasionally also in India[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
,
989
Title
The Gardens' Bulletin, Singapore. Vol. 13
Publication
 
Author
 
Publisher
Government Printing Office, Singapore
Year
1950
ISBN
 
Description
A botanical journal, it includes a treatment of the Zingiberaceae of the Malay Peninsula.

Range

E. Asia - southwest India, southern China, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia.

Habitat

Riversides at elevations around 800 metres in southern Yunnan[
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
]. Thickets and teak forest, mainly on moist, fertile, humus-rich soils, at elevations up to 750 metres[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *  *
Medicinal Rating *  *  *
Other Uses Rating *
HabitPerennial
Height2.00 m
Cultivation StatusCultivated, Wild

Cultivation Details

Plants are adapted to growing in areas of seasonal drought in monsoonal forests[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].
Prefers slightly shady conditions and demands a moist, fertile soil rich in humus[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].

Edible Uses

A starch obtained from the roots is used for porridge and as a pudding[
46
Title
Dictionary of Economic Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Uphof. J. C. Th.
Publisher
Weinheim
Year
1959
ISBN
-
Description
An excellent and very comprehensive guide but it only gives very short descriptions of the uses without any details of how to utilize the plants. Not for the casual reader.
,
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].
The starch is extracted by grating the rhizomes and kneading the gratings in water above a sieve. This process is repeated for several days and the water above the slurry is repeatedly renewed until it remains colourless when the deposit is pressed. Then the slurry is washed out until the bitterness has gone and most of the pungent smell has disappeared. The resulting starch is used for making various delicacies like pudding and porridge[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
]. The starch is said to be of good quality and is easily digestible for infants as well[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].

The young growing stems and rhizome parts are eaten as a vegetable either raw or cooked[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].

Flowers - cooked[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
]. Eaten with rice[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].

A sweet-flavoured soft drink, called 'bir temu lawak', is prepared by cooking dried pieces of rhizomes in water and adding sugar[
301
Title
Cornucopia II
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications, California.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-9628087-2-5
Description
The second edition of an excellent guide to the edible uses of plants, though it does not give any details of cultivation etc.
,
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].

Medicinal

The rhizomes are an important ingredient into many 'jamus' (traditional Indonesian medicinal preparations)[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].
They are said to be antiinflammatory, cholagogue, febrifuge, galactagogue and laxative[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
]. They are used to treat various abdominal complaints and liver disorders, including jaundice and gallstones[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
]. A decoction of the rhizome is also used as a remedy for fever and constipation, and taken by women to lessen uterine inflammation after giving birth. Other applications are against bloody diarrhoea, dysentery, inflammation of the rectum, haemorrhoids, stomach disorders caused by cold, infected wounds, skin eruptions, acne vulgaris, eczema, smallpox and anorexia[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].

Other Uses

A yellow dye is obtained from the rhizomes[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].

Propagation

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. Germinates best at temperatures around 20°c[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].
Division of the rhizome when the plant is dormant.
Cite as: Tropical Plants Database, Ken Fern. tropical.theferns.info. 2019-08-19. <tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Curcuma+zanthorrhiza>

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