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Thumbnail Sheet for African Costus Species

Thumbnail Sheet for African Costus Species

In 2016, the well-known Costus expert, Dr. Paul Maas published a monograph of the African Costus plants, and there were many changes including new species described and old species determined to be synonyms of other species. This page includes some species names that are no longer "accepted" species, but are widely cultivated under the synonym names. I do not have photos of some accepted species, so a dummy thumbnail is shown in its place.

African Costus are a pretty mixed-up group. There are some very similar-looking plants that normally flower at the base with green bracts and mostly white flowers, very hard to tell apart. A key character is whether they produce one flower per bract or two flowers per bract. This can be difficult to see without breaking apart the inflorescence to see if there is one or two calyx under a single bract.

There are some thin-stemmed, vine-like Costus that flower laterally at the leaf nodes, as well as at the base with small but beautiful flowers in yellow, pink and white. These plants are well suited to growing in hanging baskets.

Finally there is Costus spectabilis, a deciduous plant that produces a bright yellow flower at the center of a rosette of large leaves that hug the surface of the ground.

Click on a thumbnail image to view a full size image.
Click on the SPECIES NAME to read about the plant and see more photos of that species.
Use your "back" button to return to this thumbnail page.
Thumbnail page set to 5 columns wide.
If you want you can change the number of columns and then click "GO".
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Costus acutissimus
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Costus afer
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Costus albiflos
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Costus aureus
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Costus dinklagei


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Costus dubius
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Costus fenestralis
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Costus fissiligulatus
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Costus gabonensis
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Costus giganteus


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Costus gracillimus
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Costus kupensis
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Costus lateriflorus
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Costus letestui
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Costus ligularis


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Costus lilaceus
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Costus loangensus
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Costus louisii
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Costus lucanusianus
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Costus maboumiensis


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Costus macranthus
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Costus mosaicus
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Costus nimba
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Costus phaeotrichus
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Costus phyllocephalus


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Costus spectabilis
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Costus talbotii
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Costus tappenbeckianus

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