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Turmeric: Scientific Name and Common Names in Different Languages

Turmeric is a plant that is regularly and commonly used in households, not only as a spice but also for medicinal purposes. It has a long history that links it to Vedic Culture in India.

Turmeric originated in India and is now cultivated in most parts of tropical Asia. It grows on underground tubers or Rhizomes.  


Scientific Name of Turmeric

Turmeric finds itself placed in the Curcuma taxonomic group, which is part of the ginger family. The scientific name of this common spice is Curcuma longa


Common Names of Turmeric in Different Languages

Turmeric is mostly found in tropical areas, and it has a different name in different regions and cultures. So let’s look at various names of Turmeric in different languages. 

Common Names around the Globe

Turmeric is addressed with different local names around the globe. Many languages have adopted the version of the scientific name of this herb.

  • In over 25 languages, Turmeric has a name that straightforward comes from its scientific name. In Belarusian, Bulgarian and Macedonian, it is called куркума, in Bosnian, it is kurkuma, in Catalan, it goes closer to scientific name and is called Curcuma. In Croatian, Czech, Dutch, Finnish, and German, turmeric is called kurkuma. In Spanish, French, and Italian, the spice is also called Curcuma.


  • In Danish, turmeric is called gurkemeje. In Norwegian, it is called gurkemeie. 


  • Portuguese has a slightly different name to Turmeric than all other languages from that region. Turmeric is called açafrão in Portuguese. 


  • In Welsh, it is called tyrmerig. In Swedish, it is called gurkmeja, Turmerik in Icelandic, and, in Maltese, it is called turmeric. 


  • Some of the unique names of turmeric are बेसार (besaar) in Nepali, nghệ in Vietnamese, Kamin in Thai, kunjit in Indonesian, borrie in Afrikaans and manjano in Swahili.


  • Sinhalese people turmeric with name Kaha. 


  • People in Burma refer to turmeric with name fanwin.


  • In Azerbaijani, it is called zerdeçal. In Korean, it is called 심황(simhwang).


  • In Malayalam, it is called Maññaḷ. Mañcaḷ in Tamil. 


  • In Arabic, turmeric is referred to by name alkarakum 


  • The name of turmeric in Turkish is Zerdeçal and kurkum in Hebrew.


  • In most African region languages, turmeric is referred to name closer or the same as English. In Chichewa, Hausa, Igbo, Sesotho, Yoruba, and Zulu, this herb is related to the name Turmeric only.


Common Names in India

Most of the languages which have its origin from the Sanskrit language has a similar undertone of the name of Turmeric with slight variation. 


  • Hindi Name : Haldi (हल्दी) 
  • Bengali Name: Hould
  • Gujrati Name: haldi
  • Sindhi Name: Halda
  • Marathi Name: halad
  • Punjabi Name: haldi
  • Oriya Name: Haldi
  • Kashmiri Name: Lidar
  • Tamil Name: Manjal
  • Telugu Name:  Pasupu
  • Malayalam Name: Manjal
  • Kannada Name: Arishina



Apart from having a variety of names, Turmeric can be categorized into different categories, as well. There are almost 30 known varieties of this herb. 

On the basis of duration of crop, turmeric can be classified into 3 main categories: Long duration types (9 Months) has Tekurpet, Duggirala, Armur and Mydukuru variety of Turmeric, Medium Duration types (8 Months) has Kothapet, Krishna and Kesar variety of Turmeric  and Short Duration types (7 Months) has Amalapuram and Dindigram varieties. 

Duggirala, Kodur type, Tekurpet, Mydukuru, Sugantham, Alleppey, Kasturi, and Kesar are some other commercially popular varieties. Tekurpet’s rhizomes have the right color and higher curing percentage. Mydukuru type has a higher yield potential than Tekurpet but more inferior in curcumin content.


So do let us know in the comments below if some other name knows turmeric in your language, locality or culture!