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Datasheet for Costus barbatus

Plant Datasheet for Costus barbatus

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Costus barbatus at Lankester Gardens, Costa Rica, photo by Bruce Dunstan - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 17619 Accession# R0
Costus barbatus at Lankester Gardens, Costa Rica, photo by Bruce Dunstan


Costus barbatus at Lankester Gardens, Costa Rica, photo by Bruce Dunstan - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 17620 Accession# R0
Costus barbatus at Lankester Gardens, Costa Rica, photo by Bruce Dunstan


Costus barbatus illustration in Maas' monograph No. 18, published in 1977 - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 17621 Accession# R0
Costus barbatus illustration in Maas' monograph No. 18, published in 1977


Costus barbatus - mature inflorescence. - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 15177 Accession# R3213
Costus barbatus - mature inflorescence.


Costus barbatus - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 15178 Accession# R3213
Costus barbatus


Costus barbatus - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 15179 Accession# R3213
Costus barbatus


Costus barbatus - young inflorescence - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 15180 Accession# R3213
Costus barbatus - young inflorescence


Costus barbatus - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 15181 Accession# R3213
Costus barbatus


Costus barbatus - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 15182 Accession# R3213
Costus barbatus


Costus barbatus - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 15183 Accession# R3213
Costus barbatus


Costus barbatus - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 15184 Accession# R3213
Costus barbatus


Costus barbatus - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 15185 Accession# R3213
Costus barbatus


Costus barbatus - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 15186 Accession# R3213
Costus barbatus


Costus barbatus - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 15187 Accession# R3213
Costus barbatus


Costus barbatus - reflexed bracts - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 15188 Accession# R3213
Costus barbatus - reflexed bracts


Costus barbatus - leaves with densely puberulous undersides - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 15189 Accession# R3213
Costus barbatus - leaves with densely puberulous undersides


Costus barbatus - sheaths and ligules densely puberulous.  Ligules were measured and ranged 20-2 5mm long.  The margins were purple. - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 15190 Accession# R3213
Costus barbatus - sheaths and ligules densely puberulous. Ligules were measured and ranged 20-2 5mm long. The margins were purple.


Costus barbatus - petiole is about 8 mm long and puberulous - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 15526 Accession# R3213
Costus barbatus - petiole is about 8 mm long and puberulous


Costus barbatus - mature inflorescences - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 15527 Accession# R3213
Costus barbatus - mature inflorescences


Costus barbatus - bract margins delacerating into fibers and densely puberulous. - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 15528 Accession# R3213
Costus barbatus - bract margins delacerating into fibers and densely puberulous.


Costus barbatus - nectar callus is absent, unusual in Costus - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 15529 Accession# R3213
Costus barbatus - nectar callus is absent, unusual in Costus


Costus barbatus - bracts, bracteoles and calyx - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 15530 Accession# R3213
Costus barbatus - bracts, bracteoles and calyx


Costus barbatus - bracteole and calyx hairy and margins delacerating into fibers. - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 15531 Accession# R3213
Costus barbatus - bracteole and calyx hairy and margins delacerating into fibers.


Costus barbatus - stamen slightly exceeds labellum - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 15532 Accession# R3213
Costus barbatus - stamen slightly exceeds labellum


Costus barbatus  from Rancho Redondo, in cultivation - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 17842 Accession# R3213
Costus barbatus from Rancho Redondo, in cultivation


Costus barbatus from Rancho Redondo, in cultivation - ligules - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 17843 Accession# R3213
Costus barbatus from Rancho Redondo, in cultivation - ligules


Costus barbatus from Rancho Redondo - hairs on corolla lobe - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 17844 Accession# R3213
Costus barbatus from Rancho Redondo - hairs on corolla lobe


Costus barbatus  from Rancho Redondo, in cultivation - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 17845 Accession# R3213
Costus barbatus from Rancho Redondo, in cultivation


Costus barbatus  from Rancho Redondo, in cultivation - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 17846 Accession# R3213
Costus barbatus from Rancho Redondo, in cultivation


Costus barbatus  from Rancho Redondo, in cultivation - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 17847 Accession# R3213
Costus barbatus from Rancho Redondo, in cultivation


Costus barbatus  from Rancho Redondo, in cultivation - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 17848 Accession# R3213
Costus barbatus from Rancho Redondo, in cultivation


Costus barbatus from Rancho Redondo, in cultivation - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 17849 Accession# R3213
Costus barbatus from Rancho Redondo, in cultivation


Costus barbatus from Rancho Redondo, in cultivation - flower - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 17850 Accession# R3213
Costus barbatus from Rancho Redondo, in cultivation - flower


Costus barbatus from Rancho Redondo, in cultivation - calyx, corolla lobes, stamen, labellum - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 17851 Accession# R3213
Costus barbatus from Rancho Redondo, in cultivation - calyx, corolla lobes, stamen, labellum


Costus barbatus at Muñeco, Costa Rica - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 17900 Accession# R3368
Costus barbatus at Muñeco, Costa Rica


Costus barbatus at Muñeco, Costa Rica - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 17901 Accession# R3368
Costus barbatus at Muñeco, Costa Rica


Costus barbatus at Muñeco, Costa Rica - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 17902 Accession# R3368
Costus barbatus at Muñeco, Costa Rica


Costus barbatus at Muñeco, Costa Rica - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 17903 Accession# R3368
Costus barbatus at Muñeco, Costa Rica


Costus barbatus at Muñeco, Costa Rica - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 17904 Accession# R3368
Costus barbatus at Muñeco, Costa Rica


Costus barbatus at Muñeco, Costa Rica - ligules - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 17905 Accession# R3368
Costus barbatus at Muñeco, Costa Rica - ligules


Costus barbatus at Lankester Gardens, Costa Rica - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 17906 Accession# R3369
Costus barbatus at Lankester Gardens, Costa Rica


Costus barbatus at Lankester Gardens, Costa Rica - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 17907 Accession# R3369
Costus barbatus at Lankester Gardens, Costa Rica


Costus barbatus at Lankester Gardens, Costa Rica - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 17908 Accession# R3369
Costus barbatus at Lankester Gardens, Costa Rica


Costus barbatus at Lankester Gardens, Costa Rica - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 17909 Accession# R3369
Costus barbatus at Lankester Gardens, Costa Rica


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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