1. Family: Zingiberaceae Martinov
    1. Genus: Curcuma L.
      1. Curcuma roscoeana Wall.

        Curcuma roscoeana is a rhizomatous, perennial herb. Its bright colours make it valued as a pot plant and cut flower. It is cultivated worldwide and is one of the most popular gingers (members of the Zingiberaceae family) in cultivation. The genus Curcuma also includes turmeric ( Curcuma longa), the rhizomes of which are the source of a bright yellow spice (an important constituent of curry powder) and dye.

    [KSP]
    General Description
    A popularly cultivated Curcuma, with beautiful, bright orange or yellow flowers, jewel of Burma is a member of the ginger family and an important Thai export.

    Curcuma roscoeana is a rhizomatous, perennial herb. Its bright colours make it valued as a pot plant and cut flower. It is cultivated worldwide and is one of the most popular gingers (members of the Zingiberaceae family) in cultivation. The genus Curcuma also includes turmeric ( Curcuma longa), the rhizomes of which are the source of a bright yellow spice (an important constituent of curry powder) and dye.

    Species Profile

    Geography and distribution

    Native to Thailand, Burma (Myanmar) and the Andaman Islands (India), and possibly also Bangladesh. Curcuma roscoeana was collected from forests in Jharkhand and West Bengal (India), between 1875 and 1900, but has not been found in these localities since. It grows in lowland to premontane, evergreen, semi-evergreen and deciduous forests. It is most common in open, grassy, deciduous forests, in riparian habitats (adjacent to rivers and streams), and often within bamboo thickets, at up to 800 m above sea level. It is locally common, and grows on the forest floor.

    Description

    A seasonally dormant, rhizomatous herb growing up to one metre tall. The leaves are broadly ovate to elliptic, light green with darker veins, and up to 30 cm long. The tubular flowers are yellow, with peach-orange to dark red-orange bracts. The cut flowers last about two weeks.

    Threats and conservation

    Ornamental gingers have rapidly increased in popularity over the past few years, leading to an increase in illegal collecting from the wild. Although not easy to cultivate, Curcuma roscoeana is a striking plant with high ornamental value. It is widely available for sale worldwide and has become an important export for Thailand. The volume of exported rhizomes collected from the wild is unknown. Fortunately, C. roscoeana is also cultivated as a cut flower and pot plant, and micropropagation protocols have been developed, which are likely to have relieved pressure on wild populations.

    Deforestation rates are high in parts of the range of Curcuma roscoeana. Many forests in Thailand have been felled to clear land for agriculture or settlements, and illegal logging for timber also occurs. C. roscoeana has been collected in disturbed primary forest, but its ability to regenerate and persist in secondary forest is unknown.

    Conservation assessments carried out at Kew

    Curcuma roscoeana is being monitored as part of the 'IUCN Sampled Red List Index for Plants', which aims to produce conservation assessments for a representative sample of the world’s plant species. This information will then be used to monitor trends in extinction risk and help focus conservation efforts where they are needed most.

    Uses

    Jewel of Burma is cultivated as a pot plant and also for cut flowers.

    This species at Kew

    Jewel of Burma can be seen growing in the Princess of Wales Conservatory at Kew.

    Pressed and dried specimens of Curcuma roscoeana are held in Kew’s Herbarium, where they are available to researchers by appointment. The details, including images, of some of these can be seen online in the Herbarium Catalogue. A specimen of a C. roscoeana rhizome is also held in Kew’s Economic Botany Collection, where it is available to researchers by appointment.

    Distribution
    Myanmar, Thailand
    Ecology
    Forest.
    Conservation
    Least Concern according to IUCN Red List criteria.
    Hazards

    None known.

    Images

    Distribution

    Found In:

    Andaman Is., Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand

    Common Names

    English
    Jewel of Burma

    Curcuma roscoeana Wall. appears in other Kew resources:

    Date Identified Reference Herbarium Specimen Type Status
    Sep 1, 2005 Larsen, K. [34161], Thailand K000459669
    Sep 1, 2005 Put [73], Thailand K000459670
    Sep 1, 2005 Put [3996], Thailand K000459671
    Sep 1, 2005 Kostermans, A. [799], Thailand K000459672
    Sep 1, 2005 Kostermans, A. [798], Thailand K000459673
    Sep 1, 2005 McLelland [s.n.], Myanmar K000481097 Unknown type material
    Aug 1, 2005 Wood, J.J. [187], India K000481095 Unknown type material
    Aug 1, 2005 Bhargawa, N. [6406], India K000481100 Unknown type material
    Aug 1, 2005 Griffith [5724], India K000496033 Unknown type material
    Aug 1, 2005 Haines, H.H. [331], India K000496034 Unknown type material
    Aug 1, 2005 Lace, J.H. [5391], India K000496035 Unknown type material
    Jan 1, 2004 Keenan, J. [1502], Myanmar K000496036 Unknown type material
    Jan 1, 1993 Burke, D. [s.n.], Myanmar K000481096 Unknown type material
    Jan 1, 1993 Griffith [5705], Myanmar K000481099 Unknown type material
    Jan 1, 1993 McLelland [s.n.], Myanmar K000496037 Unknown type material
    Wallich, N. [Cat. no. 6597], Myanmar K001124262
    Wallich, N. [Cat. no. 6597], Myanmar K001124263
    Kurz, S. [s.n], Andaman Is. K000640533 isolectotype
    Kurz, S. [s.n.], Andaman Is K000640534 lectotype

    First published in Pl. Asiat. Rar. 1: 8 (1829)

    Accepted in:

    • [1] (2010) Taxon 59: 269-282
    • [5] (2007) Gardens' Bulletin Singapore 59: 203-220
    • [7] (2005) Gardens' Bulletin Singapore 57: 187-198
    • [10] Govaerts, R. (1999) World Checklist of Seed Plants 3(1, 2a & 2b): 1-1532. MIM, Deurne.
    • [12] (1996) Thai Forest Bulletin (Botany) 24: 35-49

    Literature

    • [2] Leong-Škorničková, J., Šída, O. & Marhold, K. (2010). Back to types! Towards stability of names in Indian Curcuma L. (Zingiberaceae). Taxon 59: 269–282.
    • [3] World Checklist of Selected Plant Families (2010). The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. (Accessed 30 April 2011).
    • [4] Romand-Monnier, F. (2009). Curcuma roscoeana. Assessment using IUCN Categories and Criteria 3.1 (IUCN 2001). Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
    • [6] Sirirugsa, P., Larsen, K. & Maknoi, C. (2007). The genus Curcuma L. (Zingiberaceae): distribution and classification with reference to species diversity in Thailand. Gardens' Bulletin Singapore 59: 203-219.
    • [8] Škorničková, J. & Sabu, M. (2005). Curcuma roscoeana Wall. (Zingiberaceae) in India. Gardens' Bulletin Singapore 57: 187-198.
    • [9] Llamas, K.A. (2003). Tropical Flowering Plants: a Guide to Identification and Cultivation. Timber Press, Portland, Oregon.
    • [11] Sirirugsa, P. (1999). Thai Zingiberaceae: Species Diversity and Their Uses. International Conference on Biodiversity and Bioresources: Conservation and Utilization, 23–27 November 1997, Phuket, Thailand.
    • [13] Larsen, K. (1996). A preliminary checklist of the Zingiberaceae of Thailand. Thai Forest Bull. (Botany) 24: 35-49.

    Sources

    International Plant Names Index
    The International Plant Names Index (2016). Published on the Internet http://www.ipni.org
    [A] © Copyright 2016 International Plant Names Index. https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

    Kew Species Profiles
    Kew Species Profiles
    [B] http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0
    [C]

    World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
    World Checklist of Selected Plant Families(2016). Published on the Internet http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
    [D] See http://kew.org/about-kew/website-information/legal-notices/index.htm You may use data on these Terms and Conditions and on further condition that: The data is not used for commercial purposes; You may copy and retain data solely for scholarly, educational or research purposes; You may not publish our data, except for small extracts provided for illustrative purposes and duly acknowledged; You acknowledge the source of the data by the words "With the permission of the Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew" in a position which is reasonably prominent in view of your use of the data; Any other use of data or any other content from this website may only be made with our prior written agreement. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0
    [E] © Copyright 2016 International Plant Names Index and World Checkist of Selected Plant Families. https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0