Later that year, I hiked Mt Gulugod Baboy, a mountain near my place in our town. My previous climb there was when i was in fourth grade. A flower spike was also growing in the wild, which prompted me to dig one rhizome. I planted it in an old tin can, where the original occupant already died out. It is now already about a year that it's growing in my mother's garden in the province.
The flower at the right has the leaf already sprouting
This is turmeric or Curcuma longa (also in the farm under the cacao trees), they have similar leaves, which at first glance really looks the same with my Curcuma elata below. The difference is the tinge of purple at the midrib of C. elata.
This is the already grown plant from the rhizome i got from the mountain. Mother wants it to be removed from this area as its leaves are so prolific and will eventually cover the smaller plants like the Caladium, rosemary and the rose.
I removed the already bulging rusty tin can, and i saw a lot of rhizomes ready to grow and spread.
Somehow, the tin can didn't seem like restriction as the rhizomes are so plenty and healthy looking. They really resemble the immature ginger we are familiar with. However, our common ginger is of a different genus, Zingiber officinale. Both Curcuma and Zingiber are in the Zingeberaceae family though.
A week later the rhizomes turned green, at this stage they are ready for planting. I might not plant them anymore, as I think they will become invasive in our property. Just like the Alocasia, when they are already in the soil, they are very difficult to eradicate here in the tropics. I wish I can find some adoptors for these rhizomes. Curcuma elata is also called 'Giant plume', and is native to Myanmar.
Curcumin, a compound from Curcuma species, has long been found to be very useful medicinally. If you will read the following, you might look for this compound soonest. Curcumin is a potent scavenger of ROS, superoxide anions, hydroxyl radicals, singlet oxygen, nitric oxide and peroxynitrite. It also protects lipids, hemoglobin and DNA against oxidative peroxidation. So these only means, it is a preventive compound against cancer. Reference
However, Curcuma elata has very low concentration of these useful compounds compared to C. longa or turmeric.