Turmeric is a perennial herb with creeping rootstalks. It is indigenous to the Strand and needs hot climate and substantial rain to flourish. It is collected yearly for its creeping rootstalks, most of which are used, while the saved rootstocks are replanted for the next year.
The rootstocks are stewed for many hours and then desiccated in herbalist furnaces, then pulverized into a rich golden powder with broad culinary and dyeing use, although turmeric makes an inadequate cloth dyestuff as it gradually evanesces when exposed to sunlight. As a food coloring agent, however, it is ideal. It has a distinct earthy, slightly acrid, slightly piquant flavor.
The city of Twelve Culverts is the world's most prominent source and most significant market for turmeric. As a result Twelve Culverts is also called "Xanthous City" or "Suffusion of Yellow".