Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is a rhizomatous herbaceous perennial plant of the ginger family, Zingiberaceae which is native to tropical South Asia. It needs temperatures between 20°C and 30°C, and a considerable amount of annual rainfall to thrive. Plants are gathered annually for their rhizomes, and re-seeded from some of those rhizomes in the following season.
It is often misspelled (or pronounced) as 'tumeric'. It is also known as kunyit (Indonesian and Malay), Besar (Nepali) or haldi (Hindi) or pasupu (Telugu)in some Asian countries. In Assamese it is called Halodhi. In Hawaiì, it is called "`Olena." In medieval Europe, turmeric became known as Indian Saffron, since it is widely used as an alternative to far more expensive saffron spice.
Its rhizomes are boiled for several hours and then dried in hot ovens, after which they are ground into a deep orange-yellow powder commonly used as a spice in curries and other South Asian and Middle Eastern cuisine, for dyeing, and to impart color to mustard condiments. Its active ingredient is curcumin and it has an earthy, bitter, peppery flavor and a mustardy smell.http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic-art/610223/32406/Turmeric (a picture), http://curcumalonga.com/ (details with pictures), http://www.uni-graz.at/~katzer/engl/Curc_lon.html (details with pictures), http://faculty.ksu.edu.sa/73732/Pictures%20Library/Forms/DispForm.aspx?ID=6&Source=http%3A%2F%2Ffaculty%2Eksu%2Eedu%2Esa%2F73732%2FPictures%2520Library%2FForms%2FAllItems%2Easpx&RootFolder=%2F73732%2FPictures%20Library (an illustration),