A stunning tropical flowering plant, common in the tropics of Australia particularly Cape York, but also growing in Papua New Guinea. It is the native turmeric plant, known as kumbigi to Guugu Yimithirr people of North Queensland, and the roots of the plant can be roasted and eaten. There is a white flowering form found occasionally in the wild.
Grows on rainforest margins and in shaded areas, and the plant dies back to the perennial rhizome in the dry season. Needs rich, well drained soil in the sun. It needs to be grown in a heated greenhouse in the southern parts of Australia, but apparently can be grown in temperate climates in a protected, shady position. If it is knocked down by light frosts, it will resprout once warm weather comes. Often the exotic Indian species C. inodora is sold as the Australian species, however the Indian species is much faster growing with leaves larger than 1m, the leaves having red bands and colouring.
|Scientific Name:||Curcuma australasica|
|Common Name:||Native Turmeric|
|Other Common Names:||Cape York Lily, Kumbigi|
|Plant Type:||Small shrub, Clumping perennial, Bulb or bulb-like|
|Height:||1 ~ 1.5 metre|
|Width:||0.5 ~ 1 metre|
|Flower Colour:||White, Yellow, Pink|
|Soil Type:||Sandy, Loamy, Sandy loam, Clay loam, Potting mix|
|Plant Environment:||Low maintenance garden, Courtyard, Container growing, Flower garden|
|Climate Zone:||Tropical, Sub-tropical, Warm temperate|
|Light:||Light shade, Half shade|
|Growth Habit:||Deciduous, Open foliage, Spreading|
|Soil Moisture:||Well-drained, Moist moderate drainage|
|Propagation Method:||Seed, Bulb, Division|
|Frost Tolerance:||Not frost tolerant|
|Plant Usage:||Feature plant|
|Special Uses:||Edible, Cut flower, Bog gardens, Playground friendly|
Angus recommends Bush Tucker fertiliser for this plant.