Do you remember Act II Scene II of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet?
Juliet: What's in a name? that which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.
But what would Juliet have said about tulips? By any other name, would they smell as sweet or would they smell like ginger? Conversely, could ginger that looked like a tulip be named such?
Above is my Curcuma specimen. Curcuma is a genus of Zingiberaceae or the ginger family. In fact its name is from the Arabic "kurkum" meaning turmeric. I'm not sure though if the tuber of my Curcuma is edible. In any case, even if it is edible the plant is too beautiful to end up in a wok as a stir fried dish.
This particular specimen is the Curcuma alismatifolia. It is known as the Siam Tulip (Chiangmai Pink). It wasn't labeled as such when I bought it, so please correct me if I am wrong. They come from Indochina and Southeast Asia, mainly Thailand, hence its common name.
Most noticeable is the pale pink inflorescence with green or brown tips which slightly resembles a tulip.
See the flowers arising from the axils of the bract in white and violet.
The flowers are hidden and overshadowed by the bract but I think they are just as beautiful.
My Curcumas are exposed to direct sunlight the whole morning. They love to be watered everyday. I fertilize them with slow release all purpose fertilizer and they seem to respond well.
Curcumas wilt and disappear after the onset of the dry season and regrow once the rains come. During the dry season the tubers lie dormant underground.
Unlike the love affair of Romeo and Juliet whose demise was tragic and permanent, my love affair with my Curcuma blossoms and will continue to blossom every year.