Curcuma decipiens Dalzell, Hooker’s J. Bot. Kew Gard. Misc. 2: 144 1850.;
Rhizomatous herbs, rhizome 3-5 x 2 cm, ovoid-conical, pale yellow-white; roots fleshy, root-tubers 2.5-3 x 2 cm, ovoid, white inside. Leafy shoots 30-60 cm long. Leaves distichous, 2-4, lamina 10-30 x 5-15, broadly ovate, base slightly cordate, tip deltoid with a small cusp, glabrous; petiole equal to the lamina; ligule short, 1-2 mm long. Inflorescence both lateral and central; peduncle 6-10 cm long; spike 4-6 x 2-3 cm. Coma bracts many, c. 5 x 1 cm, lower green with purple tip, upper deep purple-pink. Fertile bracts upto 4 x 3 cm, tip broad, rounded, recurved, green with purple-pink tips, minutely pubescent on the outer surface, lower half fused; bracteoles small, outer 8 x 4 mm, inner 4 x 3 mm, triangular, light pink or white with pink spots, pubescent. Flowers 4.5 cm long, 1 or 2 in each bract. Calyx 1-1.2 cm long, truncate, tip shortly 3-lobed, white with pink spots, minutely pubescent. Corolla tube 2 cm long, funnel-shaped, deep purple; lobes unequal, deep purple; dorsal lobe 1.5 x 1.3-1.5 cm, apiculate; lateral lobes 1.3 x 0.7 cm, ovate-oblong. Labellum 1.5 x 1.5 cm, tip slightly 3-lobed, midlobe emarginate, purple towards base, glandular hairs on inner side. Lateral staminodes 1.5 x 0.8 cm, oblong, yellow, purple towards the base. Anther-thecae parallel, 4 mm long, yellow, spurred; spurs small, parallel, with purple spots. Epigynous glands 2, 4 mm long, linear. Ovary 3-4 mm long, trilocular, densely pubescent; style long, filiform; stigma bilipped, slightly exserted from the anther. Fruit 1 x 0.5 cm, ovoid, hairy; seeds many, 5 x 2 mm, oblong, brown with a white spot at the tip, aril white, lacerate. Flowering and fruiting: April-October
Exposed laterite soil and rocky hill slopes
Peninsular India (Endemic)
Curcuma for ID :: Palakkad :: MK012 SEP2016 : 6 posts by 3 authors. Attachments (7)
Please help to identify this Zingiberaceae species found on moist forest floor.
Height: won’t exceed 1 feet
Leaf: up to 20 cm long
Inflorescence: up to 10cm long
Place: Palakkad Dist., Kerala
Date: July 24, 2016
Alt.: 135 m asl
Curcuma neilgherrensis ?
It is a highly variable species
This plant is found in Palakkad district in Kerala which is approximately 800 km away from the type location of C.decipiens. If C.decipiens becomes a synonym of C.inodora then this species will need to be described as a new species. It is very different from C.inodora in anther spur direction. Locally it is referred to as Kuzhi koova in Malayalam.
Attached is a high res picture of the flower.
1 high res. image.
It is still found on either side of the Palakkad gap. I saw 3 different populations in Nelliampathy and Malampuzha area. Best time to see them in bloom would be July and August.
Happy to hear this. I will look for this plant when travelling to that area.
Location: Northern and Southern borders of the Palakkad gap, Kerala
Habitat: Rubber plantations – shade to filtered sunlight
Altitude: 80 – 200 msl
Rhizome: small, odourless, not branching.
Inflorescence: Most were 2-3 inches and highly variable in colour of coma bracts. Flower did not show much variation.
Plant: Some had leaves close to the ground, others had longer petioles. Leaves were broadly oval.
It would be nice if both the posts of the plants from Palakkad (this one and an older post by …) could be maintained together separate from the Maharashtra species (C.decipiens/C.inodora) to avoid further confusion. All the other plants under C.decipiens are the same plants posted under C.inodora and should be ideally grouped together.