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Curcuma is a member of the Zingiberaceae family and a relative newcomer to the world of cut flowers and ornamentals. Grown from a rhizome, the plant features thick, dense roots and requires high temperatures and a day length of at least 12 hours. This plant produces an excellent cut flower last up to about 14 days. If placed in a slightly shaded position, flower on the plant can remain for up to 3 months. Note this species is deciduous in winter. Light: Indirect to full sunlight.Watering: Water often and lightly so the plant remains moist, but does not drown. The size of the rhizome and the number of buds determines the speed of development of the plant: The larger the rhizome and the more buds it contains the earlier the flowering and the greater the yield. Other member of the Zingiberaceae (ginger) family, Curcuma longa (turmeric) has oblong, pointed leaves and bears funnel-shaped yellow flowers. The rhizome is the portion of the plant used medicinally; it is usually boiled, cleaned, and dried, yielding a yellow powder.Dried Curcuma longa is the source of the spice turmeric, the ingredient that gives curry powder its characteristic yellow color. Turmeric is used extensively in foods for both its flavor and color. Turmeric has a long tradition of use in the Chinese and Ayurvedic systems of medicine.
Widely used in Thai (Tom Yum Gum soup) and Vietnamese cooking. Lemon grass is a perennial, which means once you plant it, the grass comes back year after year. Depending on the area you live in the plant will go dormant in the winter. In harsh climates the plant will need to be potted and wintered indoors. This aromatic herb is used in Caribbean and many types of Asian cooking and has become very popular in the United States. Most of the commercial crops for the United States are grown in California and Florida. Lemon grass is also used for medicinal purposes. This fragrant grass is a versatile performer in the kitchen where it can be used in teas, beverages, herbal medicines, and Eastern inspired soups and other dishes. Lemongrass is equally versatile in the garden. This tropical grass grows in dense clumps that can grow to 6 ft (1.8 m) in height and about 4 ft (1.2 m) in width. The straplike leaves are 0.5-1 in (1.3-2.5 cm) wide, about 3 ft (0.9 m) long, and have gracefully drooping tips. The evergreen leaves are bright bluish-green and release a citrus aroma when crushed. It is the leaves that are used as flavoring and in medicine. They are steam distilled to extract lemongrass oil, an old standby in the the perfumer's palette of scents. The lemongrass plants that you are likely to encounter are cultivars and do not typically produce flowers. Gardeners in subtropical areas will enjoy using lemongrass in beds and borders. It also does well in tubs and containers. It is especially nice along walkways where plants release fragrance when brushed against by passersby. If you live in a frosty area, you can enjoy it as an annual. You can also pot it up for the winter and keep it in a brightly lit area indoors. Lemongrass has been used for centuries as the source of an aromatic oil that is used in perfumery, flavorings and herbal medicine. Keep some around the house to add a lemony snap to ice tea and interest to your stir fries. To harvest, dig up a clump, separate the sections, cut off the roots and tops keeping about 6 in (15 cm) of the light colored base. Natural way or controlling mosquitoes and other pests - try some near your patio. Good for dogs and gives them fresh breath.
It is grown commercially in Sri Lanka, India, Burma, Indonesia and Java. Its graceful arching leaves and overall vertical form provide subtle opposition when planted near bushy or rounded shrubs and flowers. Citronella is clump-forming tropical grass, the clump increases in size as the plant matures. Plant it along a walkway or near the porch where its fragrance can be appreciated. The plant is the source of the commercial citronella oil, used in perfumery and as an insect repellent. Inexpensive soaps sold in Asian markets are scented with citronella oil. Citronella oil can be mixed with other vegetable oils and used in massage or rubbed on the skin for an insect repellent. The essential oils extracted from citronella grass are much used in aroma therapy as a stimulant when inhaled or rubbed on the skin, and an antiseptic that can be used to sterilize food preparation surfaces. It is reported that citronella oil repels cats. Inhaling the essential oils of citronella may increase heart rate in some people. Rhizome is used medicinally as a treatment for leukorrhea.
Citronella is clump-forming tropical grass, the clump increases in size as the plant matures. Plant it along a walkway or near the porch where its fragrance can be appreciated. The plant is the source of the commercial citronella oil, used in perfumery and as an insect repellent.
Similar to Cymbopogon nardus.
Dysphania ambrosioides is used as a leaf vegetable, herb, and herbal tea for its pungent flavor. There are parts of this plant, mostly the seeds, that contain an essential oil that if taken in excess is highly toxic. Even though this plant has an established place in recipes and in folklore, it is wise to use only the leaves, and those very sparingly, in cooking.