An Eco-sustainable World
HerbaceousSpecies Plant

Curcuma parviflora

Curcuma parviflora

Small-flowered Turmeric (Curcuma parviflora, 1830) is a herbaceous species belonging to the Zingiberaceae family.

Systematic –
From a systematic point of view it belongs to:
Eukaryota domain,
Kingdom Plantae,
Division Magnoliophyta,
Class Liliopsida,
Subclass Zingiberidae,
Zingiberales Order,
Family Zingiberaceae,
Turmeric genus,
C. parviflora species.
The term is synonymous:
– Hitcheniopsis parviflora (Wall.) Loes..

Etymology –
The term Turmeric comes from the Sanskrit kum kuma, through the Arabic kurkum, saffron, with reference to the saffron yellow color of the rhizome.
The specific epithet parviflora comes from the Latin párvus, small and from flos floris fiore, that is, with small flowers or with few flowers.

Geographic Distribution and Habitat –
Curcuma parviflora is a plant native to Peninsular Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.
Its habitat is that of forests where it grows up to around 700 m above sea level.

Description –
Curcuma parviflora is a herbaceous, perennial, deciduous plant that grows up to 50 cm in height which forms from an underground rhizome.
The leaves are borne by a 10-30 cm long petiole; they are ovate-oblong in shape with a pointed apex, 8-30 cm long and 4-12 cm wide, of an intense green colour.
The inflorescence is carried by a peduncle 7-25 cm long, terminal, erect, cylindrical, 5-12 cm long, made up of green imbricated ovate bracts, 1.5-3 cm long and 1-1-8 cm wide, which they contain 2-3 tubular flowers with a white three-lobed corolla, about 2 cm long, a purple oblong-obovate labellum and white obovate-lanceolate staminodes; the upper bracts, devoid of flowers, are white and form a sort of tuft at the apex of the inflorescence.
The fruits are ellipsoid capsules that contain seeds equipped with aril.

Cultivation –
Curcuma parviflora is a perennial herbaceous plant that is sometimes harvested in the wild as a local food source.
Plants of this genus generally prefer humus-rich, moist but well-drained soil in partial shade.
This plant is among the smallest of the genus, due to its size, ornamental foliage and long-lasting inflorescence, about a month, it is often grown in pots for the decoration of bright interiors.
It can be grown outdoors in humid tropical and subtropical climate areas, in a semi-shaded position, on perfectly draining humus-rich soils, from slightly acidic to neutral, kept humid; at rhizome level, during the rest period, it can resist temperatures a few degrees below 0 °C only if completely dry.
Reproduction occurs by seed in a substrate rich in organic substance with the addition of 30% sand or perlite, kept humid and in a shaded position, at a temperature of 22-24 °C, but usually and easily by division during the rest period.
In cold climates the rhizomes can be buried in spring, 4-6 cm deep, with flowering in late summer, and extracted in autumn and stored in a dry place at a temperature preferably above 10 °C. During the vegetative period, watering must be regular and abundant, but without stagnation, and fertilization carried out with products balanced with microelements.

Customs and Traditions –
Curcuma parviflora is a plant known by various common names, among which we include: dork grajeaw, krachieo khaao (Thai); nghệ hoa nhỏ (Vietnamese).
The young leaves and inflorescences are locally consumed cooked as vegetables.
The plant has no medicinal uses.
It is a species that can be used as an ornamental plant both in open fields, in suitable climates, or in pots in apartments in areas with colder climates.
No other uses are known.

Preparation Method –
Curcuma parviflora is a plant that is grown for food use or used in its natural state for its young leaves and inflorescences.
The young leaves are cooked; they are blanched and served with chilli sauce.
The flowers are cooked, blanched and eaten with chili sauce and shrimp paste.
However, there are no known medicinal uses.

Guido Bissanti

– Acta Plantarum – Flora of the Italian Regions.
– Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
– GBIF, the Global Biodiversity Information Facility.
– Useful Tropical Plants Database.
– Conti F., Abbate G., Alessandrini A., Blasi C. (ed.), 2005. An annotated checklist of the Italian vascular flora, Palombi Editore.
– Pignatti S., 1982. Flora d’Italia, Edagricole, Bologna.
– Treben M., 2000. Health from the Lord’s Pharmacy, Advice and experiences with medicinal herbs, Ennsthaler Editore.

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Attention: Pharmaceutical applications and food uses are indicated for informational purposes only, they do not represent in any way a medical prescription; we therefore decline any responsibility for their use for healing, aesthetic or food purposes.

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