Curcuma zedoaria

Curcuma zedoaria




Curcuma pallida Lour., Curcuma zerumbet Roxb

Vernacular Names

Malaysia Kunchur, temu kuning, temu lawak (Peninsular).
English Long zedoary, round zedoary, zedoary
Indonesia Koneng tegal (Sundanese), temu putih (Malay, Jakarta).
Philippines Alimpuyas (Cebu Bisaya), barak (Tagalog), tamahilan (Bikol).
Burma (Myanmar) Thanuwen.
Cambodia Pratiel preah angkaol.
Laos 'khmin2khai.
Thailand Khamin khun (northern), khamin oi (central).
Vietnam Ngh[eej] den, nga tru[aaj]t, ng[ar]i t[is]m.
French Zedoaire.

Geographical Distributions

It is probably native to north-eastern India. Distributed through cultivation to South and South-East Asia and probably throughout Malesia, China and Taiwan from where it easily escapes. Occasionally it is cultivated elsewhere (e.g. in Madagascar).


It is a herb with branched rhizome that is grey on the outside and pale yellowish to bright yellow on the inside.

The leaf sheaths are 35-60 cm long while the blades are oblong to oblong-lance-shaped. They are 25-75 cm x 7-20 cm, green with a purple band along the midrib.

The inflorescence is on a separate shoot. The bracts are green, sometimes with a purple margin. The coma bracts are purple or dark pink. The yellowish-white petal is 3.5-4.5 cm long. Its labellum is 2-2.5 cm x 1.5-2 cm, yellowish-white with a darker yellow median band. The other stamen is longitudinally folded, yellowish-white and the anther is with long spurs.

Ecology / Cultivation

C. zedoaria is found in various shady, damp localities on various soils, but prefers well-drained sandy soils, up to 1000 m altitude.

Line Drawing / Photograph



  1.  Plant Resources of South-East Asia No 12(1): Medicinal and poisonous plants 1.