Turmeric (Curcuma Longa) is dried rhizome (underground root-like stem bearing roots and shoots) of herbaceous plant. It belongs to the same family as ginger (Zingiberaceae) and grows in the same hot and humid climate. The rhizome has a deep bright yellow color and similar form to the ginger but slightly different and smaller.
The turmeric plant is propagated by planting pieces of the previous season’s rhizome, which grows to form plants of about 0.9 meters tall. The plant has long stemmed leaves and pale-yellow flowers. It requires a loamy soil and rainfall of between 1,000 and 2,000mm a year but can grow in a wide range of climate conditions. It can grow in locations up to 1,220m above the sea level. Turmeric is harvested when the plants are between 7-10 months and the stems and leaves start to dry out and die back. The whole plant is removed from the ground, taking care not to cut and bruise the rhizomes.