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Datasheet for Costus spiralis

Plant Datasheet for Costus spiralis


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Photo# 11774 Specimen# R0
Costus aff. spiralis by Michael Pascall


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Photo# 11775 Specimen# R0
Costus aff. spiralis by Michael Pascall


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Photo# 11776 Specimen# R0
Costus aff. spiralis by Michael Pascall


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Photo# 11777 Specimen# R0
Costus aff. spiralis by Michael Pascall


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Photo# 11778 Specimen# R0
Costus aff. spiralis by Michael Pascall


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Photo# 11779 Specimen# R0
Costus aff. spiralis by Michael Pascall


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Photo# 11780 Specimen# R0
Costus aff. spiralis by Michael Pascall


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Photo# 11886 Specimen# R1756
Costus spiralis
From cultivated,


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Photo# 11898 Specimen# R0
Costus spiralis at Tom Wood Nursery William Roscoe print


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Photo# 11888 Specimen# R0
Costus aff. spiralis at Wilson Botanical Garden, Costa Rica


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Photo# 11889 Specimen# R0
Costus aff. spiralis at Wilson Botanical Garden, Costa Rica


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Photo# 11890 Specimen# R0
Costus aff. spiralis at Wilson Botanical Garden, Costa Rica


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Photo# 11891 Specimen# R0
Costus spiralis at Wilson Botanical Garden, Costa Rica


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Photo# 11892 Specimen# R0
Costus spiralis at Wilson Botanical Garden, Costa Rica


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Photo# 11893 Specimen# R0
Costus spiralis at Wilson Botanical Garden, Costa Rica


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Photo# 11894 Specimen# R0
Costus spiralis at Wilson Botanical Garden, Costa Rica


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Photo# 11895 Specimen# R0
Costus spiralis at Wilson Botanical Garden, Costa Rica


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Photo# 11896 Specimen# R0
Costus spiralis at Wilson Botanical Garden, Costa Rica


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Photo# 12827 Specimen# R0
Costus spiralis pink form at Lyon Arboretum, Oahu, Hawaii


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Photo# 12828 Specimen# R0
Costus spiralis pink form at Lyon Arboretum, Oahu, Hawaii


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Photo# 12829 Specimen# R0
Costus spiralis pink form at Lyon Arboretum, Oahu, Hawaii ligules


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Photo# 12830 Specimen# R0
Costus spiralis var. spiralis pink form at Waimea Audubon Center, Oahu, Hawaii #75P320


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Photo# 12831 Specimen# R0
Costus spiralis var. spiralis pink form at Waimea Audubon Center, Oahu, Hawaii #75P320


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Photo# 12832 Specimen# R0
Costus spiralis var. spiralis pink form at Waimea Audubon Center, Oahu, Hawaii #75P320 Karen photographing


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Photo# 17237 Specimen# R0
Costus spiralis basal flowering form at Cristalino, Mato Grosso, Brazil


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Photo# 17238 Specimen# R0
Costus spiralis basal flowering form at Cristalino, Mato Grosso, Brazil


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Photo# 17239 Specimen# R0
Costus spiralis basal flowering form at Cristalino, Mato Grosso, Brazil


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Photo# 17240 Specimen# R0
Costus spiralis basal flowering form at Cristalino, Mato Grosso, Brazil


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Photo# 17241 Specimen# R0
Costus spiralis basal flowering form at Cristalino, Mato Grosso, Brazil


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Photo# 17242 Specimen# R0
Costus spiralis basal flowering form at Cristalino, Mato Grosso, Brazil


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Photo# 17243 Specimen# R0
Costus spiralis basal flowering form at Cristalino, Mato Grosso, Brazil


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Photo# 17244 Specimen# R0
Costus spiralis basal flowering form at Cristalino, Mato Grosso, Brazil


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Photo# 17245 Specimen# R0
Costus spiralis basal flowering form at Cristalino, Mato Grosso, Brazil


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Photo# 17246 Specimen# R0
Costus spiralis basal flowering form at Cristalino, Mato Grosso, Brazil


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Photo# 17247 Specimen# R0
Costus spiralis at Santa Maria de Boyaca, Colombia


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Photo# 17248 Specimen# R0
Costus spiralis at Santa Maria de Boyaca, Colombia


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Photo# 17249 Specimen# R0
Costus spiralis at Santa Maria de Boyaca, Colombia


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Photo# 17250 Specimen# R0
Costus spiralis at Santa Maria de Boyaca, Colombia


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Photo# 17365 Specimen# R3252
Costus spiralis
From Brazil, Mato Grosso


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Photo# 17366 Specimen# R3252
Costus spiralis
From Brazil, Mato Grosso


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Photo# 17367 Specimen# R3252
Costus spiralis
From Brazil, Mato Grosso


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Photo# 17368 Specimen# R3252
Costus spiralis
From Brazil, Mato Grosso


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Photo# 17369 Specimen# R3252
Costus spiralis
From Brazil, Mato Grosso


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Photo# 17370 Specimen# R3252
Costus spiralis
From Brazil, Mato Grosso


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Photo# 17371 Specimen# R3252
Costus spiralis
From Brazil, Mato Grosso


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Photo# 17372 Specimen# R3252
Costus spiralis
From Brazil, Mato Grosso


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Photo# 17373 Specimen# R3252
Costus spiralis
From Brazil, Mato Grosso


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Photo# 17408 Specimen# R3302
Costus spiralis
From Brazil, Espirito Santo


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Photo# 17409 Specimen# R3302
Costus spiralis
From Brazil, Espirito Santo


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Photo# 17410 Specimen# R3302
Costus spiralis
From Brazil, Espirito Santo


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Photo# 17411 Specimen# R3302
Costus spiralis
From Brazil, Espirito Santo


CLICK HERE for a detailed botanical description and identification key for this species (opens in new window).

PLANT FAMILY: Costaceae
BOTANICAL NAME: Costus spiralis
FORMAL SCIENTIFIC NAME: Costus spiralis (Jacq.)
STATUS :
CONTINENT: Neotropical
SYNONYMS:
Alpinia spiralis Jacq. (1797), Costus spiralis (Jacq.) Roscoe a jacquinii Griseb. (1864), Costus spiralis (Jacq.) Roscoe ? roscoei Griseb. (1864), Costus pisonis Lindley (1825), Costus spiralis var. villosus Maas (1972),

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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