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Curcuma is a genus of about 100 accepted species in the family Zingiberaceae that contains such species as turmeric and Siam Tulip. They are native to Southeast Asia, southern China, the Indian Subcontinent, New Guinea and northern Australia. Some species are reportedly naturalized in other warm parts of the world such as tropical Africa, Central America, Florida, and various islands of the Pacific, Indian and Atlantic Oceans.
The name comes from the Sanskrit ku?kuma, referring to turmeric. Turmeric has been used in India since ancient times as a substitute for saffron and other yellowish pigments[8]. Since assembly of the genus Curcuma by Linnaeus in 1753 about 130 species have been described so far. Some of the species descriptions are without Latin diagnosis or type specimen, therefore the legitimate status of many species is suspicious and remains unclear.