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Datasheet for Costus barbatus

Plant Datasheet for Costus barbatus


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Photo# 15177 Specimen# R3213
Costus barbatus
From Costa Rica, San José


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Photo# 15178 Specimen# R3213
Costus barbatus
From Costa Rica, San José


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Photo# 15179 Specimen# R3213
Costus barbatus
From Costa Rica, San José


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Photo# 15180 Specimen# R3213
Costus barbatus
From Costa Rica, San José


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Photo# 15181 Specimen# R3213
Costus barbatus
From Costa Rica, San José


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Photo# 15182 Specimen# R3213
Costus barbatus
From Costa Rica, San José


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Photo# 15183 Specimen# R3213
Costus barbatus
From Costa Rica, San José


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Photo# 15184 Specimen# R3213
Costus barbatus
From Costa Rica, San José


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Photo# 15185 Specimen# R3213
Costus barbatus
From Costa Rica, San José


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Photo# 15186 Specimen# R3213
Costus barbatus
From Costa Rica, San José


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Photo# 15187 Specimen# R3213
Costus barbatus
From Costa Rica, San José


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Photo# 15188 Specimen# R3213
Costus barbatus
From Costa Rica, San José


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Photo# 15189 Specimen# R3213
Costus barbatus
From Costa Rica, San José


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Photo# 15190 Specimen# R3213
Costus barbatus
From Costa Rica, San José


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Photo# 15526 Specimen# R3213
Costus barbatus
From Costa Rica, San José


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Photo# 15527 Specimen# R3213
Costus barbatus
From Costa Rica, San José


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Photo# 15528 Specimen# R3213
Costus barbatus
From Costa Rica, San José


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Photo# 15529 Specimen# R3213
Costus barbatus
From Costa Rica, San José


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Photo# 15530 Specimen# R3213
Costus barbatus
From Costa Rica, San José


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Photo# 15531 Specimen# R3213
Costus barbatus
From Costa Rica, San José


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Photo# 15532 Specimen# R3213
Costus barbatus
From Costa Rica, San José


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Photo# 17619 Specimen# R0
Costus barbatus at Lankester Gardens, Costa Rica, photo by Bruce Dunstan


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Photo# 17620 Specimen# R0
Costus barbatus at Lankester Gardens, Costa Rica, photo by Bruce Dunstan


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Photo# 17621 Specimen# R0
Costus barbatus illustration in Maas' monograph No. 18, published in 1977


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Photo# 17842 Specimen# R3213
Costus barbatus
From Costa Rica, San José


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Photo# 17843 Specimen# R3213
Costus barbatus
From Costa Rica, San José


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Photo# 17844 Specimen# R3213
Costus barbatus
From Costa Rica, San José


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Photo# 17845 Specimen# R3213
Costus barbatus
From Costa Rica, San José


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Photo# 17846 Specimen# R3213
Costus barbatus
From Costa Rica, San José


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Photo# 17847 Specimen# R3213
Costus barbatus
From Costa Rica, San José


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Photo# 17848 Specimen# R3213
Costus barbatus
From Costa Rica, San José


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Photo# 17849 Specimen# R3213
Costus barbatus
From Costa Rica, San José


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Photo# 17850 Specimen# R3213
Costus barbatus
From Costa Rica, San José


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Photo# 17851 Specimen# R3213
Costus barbatus
From Costa Rica, San José


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Photo# 17900 Specimen# R3368
Costus barbatus
From Costa Rica, Cartago


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Photo# 17901 Specimen# R3368
Costus barbatus
From Costa Rica, Cartago


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Photo# 17902 Specimen# R3368
Costus barbatus
From Costa Rica, Cartago


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Photo# 17903 Specimen# R3368
Costus barbatus
From Costa Rica, Cartago


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Photo# 17904 Specimen# R3368
Costus barbatus
From Costa Rica, Cartago


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Photo# 17905 Specimen# R3368
Costus barbatus
From Costa Rica, Cartago


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Photo# 17906 Specimen# R3369
Costus barbatus
From Costa Rica, Cartago


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Photo# 17907 Specimen# R3369
Costus barbatus
From Costa Rica, Cartago


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Photo# 17908 Specimen# R3369
Costus barbatus
From Costa Rica, Cartago


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Photo# 17909 Specimen# R3369
Costus barbatus
From Costa Rica, Cartago


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 barbatus
FORMAL SCIENTIFIC NAME: Costus barbatus Suess.
STATUS :Accepted
CONTINENT: Neotropical
SYNONYMS:


BOTANICAL NOTES:
This is an accepted neotropical species of Costus, described in 1942 by Suessenguth. It is characterized by having variably puberulous vegetative parts but especially densly villose petioles. Also the corolla is described as being rather densely puberulous - not often found in Costus. The bracts are red with acute apex and sometimes reflexed with fibrous margins and callus absent or inconspicuous. Based on the description and illustrations in Maas' monographs it seems to be similar in overall appearance to Costus montanus and Costus curvibracteatus and difficult to distinguish from the latter. The species is endemic to the central valley area of San Jose, Costa Rica.

NOTE: The plant commonly found in horticulture under the name Costus barbatus is NOT REALLY COSTUS BARBATUS. It has been determined to be Costus comosus, probably var. bakeri. All photos of this plant have been transferred toPID #7586. I was not able to find any published photos of the true Costus barbatus, and there was only a dried herbarium specimen until I found this plant in 2011. The photos on this page include habitat shots of the true Costus barbatus species.

I found the true species Costus barbatus in 2011 and published an article in the Heliconia Society International quarterly Bulletin, Vol. 17, No. 4, December 2011 entitled "Will the Real Costus Barbatus Please Stand Up". It is available on my website at http://www.gingersrus.com/publications/HIS-Dec2011.pdf.

In 2014 I completed an IUCN Red List assessment for this species and it is now classified as Critically Endangered. My assessment can be found at http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/full/56234708/0.

In 2016 I visited a site near the village of Muñeco, Costa Rica, and found a second population of this species, growing and thriving along a remote gravel road at 1440 meters. I also revisited Lankester Gardens in 2016 and found an untended area in the back (not in the public display areas) where there was a large population of Costus barbatus mixed in with some Costus montanus plants. It is an wet area near the back wall of the gardens. Bruce Dunstan has sent me some photos he took there prior to 2008 when he visited Lankester Gardens.

ACCESSION NOTES:
R3213 collected in 2011 in Costa Rica near Rancho Redondo at 1780 meters, east of San Jose. This plant has thrived and flowered in cultivation here in 2015 and 2016.

R3368, seeds collected 2016 near Muñeco, Cartago, Costa Rica. Germinated and seedlings growing well as of December 2016.

R3369, seeds collected at Lankester Gardens, Paraiso, Cartago, Costa Rica. Germinated and seedlings growing as of December 2016.

OBSERVATION NOTES:

Muñeco, Cartago, Costa Rica, Latitude 9.668903579, Longitude -83.88273343, at 1440 meters elevation.

San José Province, Costa Rica, Latitude 9.876898385, Longitude -83.82986868, at 1780 meters elevation.

GINGERSRUS CATALOG LISTING:
Costus barbatus The plant found in cultivation in US horticulture under the name "Costus barbatus" is NOT really Costus barbatus - it is the species Costus comosus var. bakeri. In Australia they have it correctly named. When I learned of this, I started searching for the real Costus barbatus. This species is endemic to the Central Valley area of Costa Rica in what is now the eastern suburbs of San Jose. The problem, this entire area is shopping centers and houses and urban sprawl.

Costus comosus var. bakeri
False Costus barbatus

So in 2011 after following many dead end leads and after 6 trips to Costa Rica I made a last ditch effore to find this plant. I used Google Earth to search for remaining small plots of forest where the plant might be found. The short story is that I finally found it. My article about this is published in the Heliconia Society International quarterly Bulletin of December 2011.

I finally have propagated enough of this plant to be able to distribute it to others. Hardiness is untested but it seems to be a very vigorous plant and easy to grow. The location where it was found was along a small creek in a shady area so I expect it will grow best in similar conditions.


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