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Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is a member of the ginger family (Zingiberaceae). The tuberous underground stems, or rhizomes, are the source of the spice known as turmeric. Turmeric was apparently domesticated in Southeast Asia and this region remains the center of turmeric production, with India being the largest producer and exporter. The ground dried rhizomes of turmeric are used to color a range of food products. Turmeric is an important constituent of curry powder, providing both flavor and strong yellow pigments (notably, curcumin). Researchers have also identified a number of possible pharmacological uses for curcumin.

Turmeric is a sterile triploid (2n = 3x = 63) that rarely flowers. There is essentially no seed formation and the plant is therefore vegetatively propagated using its rhizomes.

(Vaughan and Geissler 1997; Sigrist et al. 2010 and references therein)


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