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Common Name : Wild Turmeric     -       Scientific Name : Curcuma oligantha (Zingiberaceae)       -       Other Name : Wal Kaha (S)

This is a species, which is found in the dry lowlands of the country. Other than in Sri Lanka it is also found in India and Myanmar.

The conservation status of this species is regarded as Vulnerable (National Red List 2012).

There are five species of plants recorded in the country of the genus Curcuma. Plants of this genus valued for their medicinal properties in Ayurveda medicine and are used to treat many ailments. Research conducted in the Faculty of Science of the University of Ruhuna on Wild Turmeric established that it contains the following compounds. Caryophyllene (15.07%), humulene (8.24%) and phytol (13.38).

This is not a species regularly seen at Wilpattu. I have observed flowers during the month of June.



  • Comparative GC-MS analysis of all Curcuma species grown in Sri Lanka by multivariate test

H.M.I.C. Herath, T.D.C.M.K. Wijayasiriwardene*, G.A.S. Premakumara
Industrial Technology Institute, Bauddaloka Mawatha Colombo, Sri Lanka