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Datasheet for Costus spiralis

Plant Datasheet for Costus spiralis

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Costus aff. spiralis at Wilson Botanical Garden, Costa Rica  - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 11888 Accession# R0
Costus aff. spiralis at Wilson Botanical Garden, Costa Rica


Costus aff. spiralis at Wilson Botanical Garden, Costa Rica  - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 11889 Accession# R0
Costus aff. spiralis at Wilson Botanical Garden, Costa Rica


Costus aff. spiralis at Wilson Botanical Garden, Costa Rica  - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 11890 Accession# R0
Costus aff. spiralis at Wilson Botanical Garden, Costa Rica


Costus spiralis at Wilson Botanical Garden, Costa Rica - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 11891 Accession# R0
Costus spiralis at Wilson Botanical Garden, Costa Rica


Costus spiralis at Wilson Botanical Garden, Costa Rica - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 11892 Accession# R0
Costus spiralis at Wilson Botanical Garden, Costa Rica


Costus spiralis at Wilson Botanical Garden, Costa Rica - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 11893 Accession# R0
Costus spiralis at Wilson Botanical Garden, Costa Rica


Costus spiralis at Wilson Botanical Garden, Costa Rica - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 11894 Accession# R0
Costus spiralis at Wilson Botanical Garden, Costa Rica


Costus spiralis at Wilson Botanical Garden, Costa Rica - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 11895 Accession# R0
Costus spiralis at Wilson Botanical Garden, Costa Rica


Costus spiralis at Wilson Botanical Garden, Costa Rica - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 11896 Accession# R0
Costus spiralis at Wilson Botanical Garden, Costa Rica


Costus spiralis at Tom Wood Nursery William Roscoe print - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 11898 Accession# R0
Costus spiralis at Tom Wood Nursery William Roscoe print


Costus spiralis pink form at Lyon Arboretum, Oahu, Hawaii  - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 12827 Accession# R0
Costus spiralis pink form at Lyon Arboretum, Oahu, Hawaii


Costus spiralis pink form at Lyon Arboretum, Oahu, Hawaii  - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 12828 Accession# R0
Costus spiralis pink form at Lyon Arboretum, Oahu, Hawaii


Costus spiralis pink form at Lyon Arboretum, Oahu, Hawaii ligules - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 12829 Accession# R0
Costus spiralis pink form at Lyon Arboretum, Oahu, Hawaii ligules


Costus spiralis var. spiralis pink form at Waimea Audubon Center, Oahu, Hawaii  #75P320  - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 12830 Accession# R0
Costus spiralis var. spiralis pink form at Waimea Audubon Center, Oahu, Hawaii #75P320


Costus spiralis var. spiralis pink form at Waimea Audubon Center, Oahu, Hawaii  #75P320  - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 12831 Accession# R0
Costus spiralis var. spiralis pink form at Waimea Audubon Center, Oahu, Hawaii #75P320


Costus spiralis var. spiralis pink form at Waimea Audubon Center, Oahu, Hawaii  #75P320 Karen photographing - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 12832 Accession# R0
Costus spiralis var. spiralis pink form at Waimea Audubon Center, Oahu, Hawaii #75P320 Karen photographing


Costus spiralis basal flowering form at Cristalino, Mato Grosso, Brazil - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 17237 Accession# R0
Costus spiralis basal flowering form at Cristalino, Mato Grosso, Brazil


Costus spiralis basal flowering form at Cristalino, Mato Grosso, Brazil - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 17238 Accession# R0
Costus spiralis basal flowering form at Cristalino, Mato Grosso, Brazil


Costus spiralis basal flowering form at Cristalino, Mato Grosso, Brazil - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 17239 Accession# R0
Costus spiralis basal flowering form at Cristalino, Mato Grosso, Brazil


Costus spiralis basal flowering form at Cristalino, Mato Grosso, Brazil - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 17240 Accession# R0
Costus spiralis basal flowering form at Cristalino, Mato Grosso, Brazil


Costus spiralis basal flowering form at Cristalino, Mato Grosso, Brazil - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 17241 Accession# R0
Costus spiralis basal flowering form at Cristalino, Mato Grosso, Brazil


Costus spiralis basal flowering form at Cristalino, Mato Grosso, Brazil - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 17242 Accession# R0
Costus spiralis basal flowering form at Cristalino, Mato Grosso, Brazil


Costus spiralis basal flowering form at Cristalino, Mato Grosso, Brazil - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 17243 Accession# R0
Costus spiralis basal flowering form at Cristalino, Mato Grosso, Brazil


Costus spiralis basal flowering form at Cristalino, Mato Grosso, Brazil - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 17244 Accession# R0
Costus spiralis basal flowering form at Cristalino, Mato Grosso, Brazil


Costus spiralis basal flowering form at Cristalino, Mato Grosso, Brazil - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 17245 Accession# R0
Costus spiralis basal flowering form at Cristalino, Mato Grosso, Brazil


Costus spiralis basal flowering form at Cristalino, Mato Grosso, Brazil - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 17246 Accession# R0
Costus spiralis basal flowering form at Cristalino, Mato Grosso, Brazil


Costus spiralis at Santa Maria de Boyaca, Colombia - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 17247 Accession# R0
Costus spiralis at Santa Maria de Boyaca, Colombia


Costus spiralis at Santa Maria de Boyaca, Colombia - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 17248 Accession# R0
Costus spiralis at Santa Maria de Boyaca, Colombia


Costus spiralis at Santa Maria de Boyaca, Colombia - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 17249 Accession# R0
Costus spiralis at Santa Maria de Boyaca, Colombia


Costus spiralis at Santa Maria de Boyaca, Colombia - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 17250 Accession# R0
Costus spiralis at Santa Maria de Boyaca, Colombia


Costus spiralis, cultivated plant - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 11886 Accession# R1756
Costus spiralis, cultivated plant


Costus spiralis in rocky area at Cristalilno, Mato Grosso, Brazil known as the
Photo# 17365 Accession# R3252
Costus spiralis in rocky area at Cristalilno, Mato Grosso, Brazil known as the "Secret Garden".


Costus spiralis in rocky area at Cristalilno, Mato Grosso, Brazil known as the
Photo# 17366 Accession# R3252
Costus spiralis in rocky area at Cristalilno, Mato Grosso, Brazil known as the "Secret Garden".


Costus spiralis in rocky area at Cristalilno, Mato Grosso, Brazil known as the
Photo# 17367 Accession# R3252
Costus spiralis in rocky area at Cristalilno, Mato Grosso, Brazil known as the "Secret Garden".


Costus spiralis in rocky area at Cristalilno, Mato Grosso, Brazil known as the
Photo# 17368 Accession# R3252
Costus spiralis in rocky area at Cristalilno, Mato Grosso, Brazil known as the "Secret Garden".


Costus spiralis in rocky area at Cristalilno, Mato Grosso, Brazil known as the
Photo# 17369 Accession# R3252
Costus spiralis in rocky area at Cristalilno, Mato Grosso, Brazil known as the "Secret Garden".


Costus spiralis in rocky area at Cristalilno, Mato Grosso, Brazil known as the
Photo# 17370 Accession# R3252
Costus spiralis in rocky area at Cristalilno, Mato Grosso, Brazil known as the "Secret Garden".


Costus spiralis in rocky area at Cristalilno, Mato Grosso, Brazil known as the
Photo# 17371 Accession# R3252
Costus spiralis in rocky area at Cristalilno, Mato Grosso, Brazil known as the "Secret Garden".


Costus spiralis in rocky area at Cristalilno, Mato Grosso, Brazil known as the
Photo# 17372 Accession# R3252
Costus spiralis in rocky area at Cristalilno, Mato Grosso, Brazil known as the "Secret Garden".


Costus spiralis in rocky area at Cristalilno, Mato Grosso, Brazil known as the
Photo# 17373 Accession# R3252
Costus spiralis in rocky area at Cristalilno, Mato Grosso, Brazil known as the "Secret Garden".


Costus spiralis in Espirito Santo, Brazil - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 17408 Accession# R3302
Costus spiralis in Espirito Santo, Brazil


Costus spiralis in Espirito Santo, Brazil - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 17409 Accession# R3302
Costus spiralis in Espirito Santo, Brazil


Costus spiralis in Espirito Santo, Brazil - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 17410 Accession# R3302
Costus spiralis in Espirito Santo, Brazil


Costus spiralis in Espirito Santo, Brazil - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 17411 Accession# R3302
Costus spiralis in Espirito Santo, Brazil


CLICK HERE for a detailed botanical description and identification key for this species (opens in new window).
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PLANT FAMILY: Costaceae
BOTANICAL NAME: Costus spiralis
FORMAL SCIENTIFIC NAME: Costus spiralis (Jacq.)
STATUS :
CONTINENT: Neotropical
SYNONYMS:
Costus 'French Kiss',

BOTANICAL NOTES:
This is an accepted neo-tropical Costus species first mentioned as early as 1648 and described by Jacquin in 1797. It is described by Paul Maas as growing to 1 - 3.5 meters tall, with truncate ligules 2-10 mm long. Most plants flower terminally at the top of a leafy stem, but some forms flower at the base on a leafless or nearly leafless stem - some flower both ways on the same plant. An example of this is the plant known as Costus erythrothyrsus (seePID 4111) which Dr. Maas has placed into synonymy with C. spiralis.

Costus spiralis is superficially similar to Costus scaber, with non-appendaged bracts and tubular-type flowers with closed labellums. The colors of the bracts and flowers are variable. It is formally distinguished from other similar species by the coriaceous texture of the bracts and the lengths of the bracteoles and calyx. Maas compares C. spiralis, C. scaber and C. spicatus in a chart, reproduced in a table on a separate page at http://www.gingersrus.com/botanical/CompareThree.htm .

I have learned to distinguish also by the angle of the flower as it protrudes from the bracts. C. spiralis tends to protrude straight up at 0 degrees from the bracts, or even to bend a little inward toward the apex of the inflorescence, whereas Costus scaber protrudes outward from the bracts at an angle of about 30 degrees from the apex.

In his 1972 monograph, Paul Maas described a separatevariety villosus based on the hairiness of the leaves, but as with several others, this seems to be quite variable and that character by itself, insufficient to justify a separate variety. There is a distinct form that I have found in southern Peru and have seen in photos from Peru on the internet, that has green bracts instead of red - otherwise consistent with C. spiralis. There are also several other varieties listed on the International Plant Names Index, but apparently not accepted by Dr. Maas. (var. hirsutus, var. jacquini, and var. roscoei).

For purposes of this website, I have placed all C. spiralis examples on this page except for the following, which are on separate pages:
Var. villosus PID 4866 - one example from Guyana which has hairy undersides to the leaves.
Peruvian green-bracted plants -PID 7536

The type material for Costus spiralis was collected by Jacquin near Caracas, Venezuela. It is distributed throughout tropical South America in areas east of the Andes. Checking GBIFdata I found 58 records of var. spiralis, det'd by Paul Maas, from the following countries: French Guiana, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia and Venezuela. There were 45 records det'd by Maas as var. villosus in French Guiana, Brazil and Guyana. There were 28 records det'd by Maas without a varietal designation in French Guiana, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela, Peru and curiously one record from Mexico. I have seen this species myself in Colombia, Peru, Brazil and Guyana but only the one speciment in Guayana seems to be of var. villosus based on Maas' definition. Strangely, I have not seen this species (or any record of it) in Ecuador, but I think it must be there as well.

As Dr. Maas pointed out, this species is often found growing on granitic rocky outcrops and boulders. I saw that myself in two cases, at Cristalino, Mato Grosso, Brazil and at Iwokrama in Guyana. There is a place at Cristalino called the "secret garden" which is a large, open, rocky area, and Costus spiralis has virtually colonized the area. I was told by a guide that one year a frog researcher was investigating where the frogs went during the dry season. They dug deep under the boulders and found the frogs hiding there and also the thick roots of Costus spiralis extending meters into the soil under the boulders.

There were two different forms of Costus spiralis at Cristalino, one with terminal flowers growing in sunny areas on rocky outcrops and a very different form that produced flowers on basal leafless stems. The terminal flowering plant has adapted to the long, hot dry season of the Brazilian savannah area. My thumbnail sheet for these plants is at http://www.gingersrus.com/images/R3252

ACCESSION NOTES:
R1756, R2932, R3016 and R3175 all cultivated plants in the nursery trade, R3128 from Peru, did not survive; R3234 from Colombia, Nirvana; R3252 from Brazil, Cristalino; R3302 from Brazil, Espirito Santo

According to Tom Wood, the Costus in the trade as 'French Kiss' is Costus spiralis. It was so-named by David Carli in Costa Rica.

OBSERVATION NOTES:

Road to Reserva Natural north of Santa María, Boyacá, Colombia, Latitude 4.874, Longitude -73.255, at 1100 meters elevation.

Santa Teresa - State of Espírito Santo, Brazil, Latitude -19.8, Longitude -40.7, at 500 meters elevation.

Along road aove Atalaya, Rio Madre de Dios, Peru, Latitude -12.89, Longitude -71.35666, at 515 meters elevation.

Cristalino, State of Mato Grosso, Brazil, Latitude -9.58, Longitude -55.94, at meters elevation.

Cristalino, State of Mato Grosso, Brazil, Latitude -9.601, Longitude -55.9383, at 257 meters elevation.

Laguna Venecia, Tarapoto, Peru, Latitude -6.496, Longitude -76.335, at 400 meters elevation.

Casario Ricardo Palma, Leoncio Prado Province, Peru, Latitude -9.16975, Longitude -75.97337, at 640 meters elevation.

Hauchipa, Huanuco, Peru, Latitude -9.53989, Longitude -75.952, at 1200 meters elevation.

Mallqui, Huanuco, Peru, Latitude -9.612, Longitude -76.0286, at 1500 meters elevation.

Clorinda Matto de Turner, Leoncio Prado Province, Peru, Latitude -9.372, Longitude -75.962, at 750 meters elevation.

Along road to Rio Azul, Leoncio Prado Province, Peru, Latitude -9.187, Longitude -75.822, at 1500 meters elevation.

Parque Nacional Tingo Maria, Gloriapatra area, Las Palmas, Peru, Latitude -9.421, Longitude -75.972, at 760 meters elevation.

Parque Nacional Tingo Maria, Cueva de las Lechuzas area, Peru, Latitude -9.328, Longitude -76.026, at 675 meters elevation.

Rio Repente, Leoncio Prado Province, Peru, Latitude -9.504, Longitude -75.982, at 900 meters elevation.

Santa Rita Sur, Leoncio Prado Province, Peru, Latitude -9.50374, Longitude -75.98152, at 900 meters elevation.

1 km S of Tambillo Grande, Leoncio Prado Province, Peru, Latitude -9.4185, Longitude -75.9695, at 740 meters elevation.

GINGERSRUS CATALOG LISTING:
Costus spiralis is a South American species and is similar to Costus scaber, Costus spicatus and several others. I have seen several forms but have usually been able to distinguish it by the upright position of the flowers vs. the others in which the flowers extend from the bracts at more of an angle. This is a pink flowered form that can flower either from the base or terminal. This one is easy to bring to flower and has a very pleasing color.



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