Turmeric (Curcuma longa) /ˈtɜːrmərɪk/ or /ˈtjuːmərɪk/ or /ˈtuːmərɪk/ is a rhizomatous herbaceous perennial plant of the ginger family, Zingiberaceae. It is native to southwest India, requiring temperatures between 20 and 30 °C (68 and 86 °F) and a considerable amount of annual rainfall to thrive. Plants are gathered annually for their rhizomes and propagated from some of those rhizomes in the following season.
When not used fresh, the rhizomes are boiled for about 30–45 minutes and then dried in hot ovens, after which they are ground into a deep-orange-yellow powder commonly used as a spice in Bangladeshi cuisine, Indian cuisine, Pakistani cuisine and curries, for dyeing, and to impart color to mustard condiments. One active ingredient is curcumin, which has a distinctly earthy, slightly bitter, slightly hot peppery flavor and a mustardy smell.
India, a significant producer of turmeric, has regional names based on language and state.
Turmeric is a perennial herbaceous plant that reaches up to 1 m tall. Highly branched, yellow to orange, cylindrical, aromatic rhizomes are found. The leaves are alternate and arranged in two rows. They are divided into leaf sheath, petiole, and the leaf blade. From the leaf sheaths, a false stem is formed. The petiole is 50 to 115 cm long. The simple leaf blades are usually 76 to 115 cm long and rarely up to 230 cm. They have a width of 38 to 45 cm and are oblong to elliptic, narrowing at the tip.