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Curcuma australasica

Family

Zingiberaceae

Botanical Name

Curcuma australasica Hook.f.

Hooker, J.D. (1867) Botanical Magazine 93: t. 5620. Type: Mr John Veitch, ... who was the discoverer and means of introducing the present species from its north-east corner (Cape York) into England. The plant here figured flowered in Messrs. Veitchs establishment.

Common name

Cape York lily; Native turmeric; Curcuma

Stem

Plant 50 cm tall. Rhizome round to oblong, yellow within.

Leaves

Leaves tufted. Leaf blades ovate-lanceolate, glabrous, 16-45 x 9-19 cm, petioles 3-21.5 cm long. Stipules 7-9 cm long. Leaf sheaths prominent with winged margins.

Flowers

Inflorescence cylindrical, 15-32 cm tall and 6 cm diameter at the top. Flowers ca. 15 mm diam. subtended by pink, slightly hairy sterile bracts 35 x 25 mm and bracteoles 15-19 mm long. Fertile bracts green, fleshy. Calyx tube 9-11 mm long open on one side. Corolla tube 22-30 mm long. Three outer lobes, thin and translucent, three inner lobes yellow, larger than the outer petals. Anthers 4-6 mm long, spurred at each end. Anthers sessile or on petal-like filaments 9 x 5 mm. Pollen white. Lateral staminodes not folded behind stamen. Ovary 2-3 mm long. Style 40 mm long. Ovules numerous.

Fruit

Capsule within persistent inflorescence bracts, with top third pubescent.

Seedlings

Features not available.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in the NT and NEQ as far south as Cairns. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 550 m. Grows at the edges of rainforest, in Eucalypt forest, vine forest and in woodland.

Natural History

Rhizome cooked and eaten.

NT

X

CYP

X

NEQ

X

Grass

X

Herb (herbaceous or woody, under 1 m tall)

X

RFK Code

4104