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Datasheet for Chamaecostus cuspidatus

Plant Datasheet for Chamaecostus cuspidatus


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Photo# 13160 Specimen# R1360
Chamaecostus cuspidatus
From cultivated,


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Photo# 13161 Specimen# R1360
Chamaecostus cuspidatus
From cultivated,


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Photo# 13162 Specimen# R1360
Chamaecostus cuspidatus
From cultivated,


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Photo# 13163 Specimen# R1360
Chamaecostus cuspidatus
From cultivated,


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Photo# 13164 Specimen# R1360
Chamaecostus cuspidatus
From cultivated,


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Photo# 13165 Specimen# R1360
Chamaecostus cuspidatus
From cultivated,


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Photo# 13166 Specimen# R1360
Chamaecostus cuspidatus
From cultivated,


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Photo# 13167 Specimen# R1360
Chamaecostus cuspidatus
From cultivated,


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Photo# 13168 Specimen# R1360
Chamaecostus cuspidatus
From cultivated,


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Photo# 13169 Specimen# R1360
Chamaecostus cuspidatus
From cultivated,


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Photo# 13170 Specimen# R1360
Chamaecostus cuspidatus
From cultivated,


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Photo# 13171 Specimen# R1360
Chamaecostus cuspidatus
From cultivated,


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Photo# 13172 Specimen# R1360
Chamaecostus cuspidatus
From cultivated,


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Photo# 13173 Specimen# R1360
Chamaecostus cuspidatus
From cultivated,


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Photo# 13174 Specimen# R1360
Chamaecostus cuspidatus
From cultivated,


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Photo# 13175 Specimen# R1360
Chamaecostus cuspidatus
From cultivated,


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Photo# 13176 Specimen# R1360
Chamaecostus cuspidatus
From cultivated,


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Photo# 13177 Specimen# R1360
Chamaecostus cuspidatus
From cultivated,


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Photo# 13178 Specimen# R1360
Chamaecostus cuspidatus
From cultivated,


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Photo# 13093 Specimen# R1360
Chamaecostus cuspidatus
From cultivated,


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Photo# 13094 Specimen# R1360
Chamaecostus cuspidatus
From cultivated,


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Photo# 13095 Specimen# R1360
Chamaecostus cuspidatus
From cultivated,


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Photo# 13096 Specimen# R1360
Chamaecostus cuspidatus
From cultivated,


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Photo# 13097 Specimen# R1360
Chamaecostus cuspidatus
From cultivated,


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Photo# 13098 Specimen# R1360
Chamaecostus cuspidatus
From cultivated,


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Photo# 13099 Specimen# R1360
Chamaecostus cuspidatus
From cultivated,


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Photo# 13100 Specimen# R0
Chamaecostus cuspidatus at Univ. of NC, Charlotte


CLICK HERE for a detailed botanical description and identification key for this species (opens in new window).
CLICK HERE to see a description of accession #R1360 . (opens in new window).

PLANT FAMILY: Costaceae
BOTANICAL NAME: Chamaecostus cuspidatus
FORMAL SCIENTIFIC NAME: Chamaecostus cuspidatus (Nees & Mart.) C.Specht & D.W.Stev.
STATUS :Accepted
CONTINENT: Neotropical
SYNONYMS:
Costus cuspidatus Nees & Mart. (1823), Costus igneus N.E.Br. (1884),

BOTANICAL NOTES:
This species is widely cultivated as shown by the many listings in plant catalogs and books on tropical gingers, but it is rare in the wild. It comes from the Atlantic rainforest areas of eastern Brazil where habitat destruction has made this plant difficult to find.

December 2013 issue of the Heliconia Society International Bulletin, Vol. 19, No. 4

Thiago Andre published results of phylogeny of Chamaecostus. Thiago found that C. cuspidatus is in a clade very close to C. subsessilis.

In January 2014, Thiago Andre and I went to the Santa Teresa area of Espirito Santo state in southeastern Brazil to look for Chamaecostus cuspidatus in its natural habitat. We found it growing in two places, both places at the base of large rocky outcrops and in rocky soil. Thiago took soil samples and I will post the results when they are available. A photo thumbnail sheet further describing this field trip is posted at http://www.gingersrus.com/images/P3087

Thiago noted that Chamaecostus species in general (unlike Costus species) tend to be widely scattered, but when the habitat is right they tend to colonize the immediate area. So they are locally common but not always easy to find.

ACCESSION NOTES:
I have been growing this species for many years and I have tried growing it outdoors in my Tallahassee zone 8-B garden but I have found that the rhizomes have a tendency to rot if left wet during dormancy. Below are notations I have found in other sources about this species.

THE TROPICAL LOOK - From Brazil, grows to about 2 ft, leaves as much as 8 inches long dark green tinged with reddish purple underneath. Orange to reddish orange flowers to 3" wide, almost circular, emerge from a few-flowered short spike. (hardiness not noted)

OBSERVATION NOTES:

Gruto Militon - State of Espírito Santo, Brazil, Latitude -19.717, Longitude -40.57, at 275 meters elevation.

Instituto Federal do ES, Santa Teresa - State of Espírito Santo, Brazil, Latitude -19.792, Longitude -40.69, at 310 meters elevation.

Alta Floresta - State of Mato Grosso, Brazil, Latitude -9.6547875, Longitude -55.95883222, at 270 meters elevation.

GINGERSRUS CATALOG LISTING:
Chamaecostus cuspidatus Chamaecostus cuspidatus is very different from the Costus species in cultivation. As explained on my main website at www.gingersrus.com this and six other species have now been split out of Costus to a new genus Chamaecostus. Only two species are common in cultivation. Plants in this genus are generally very short and have the broad, showy labellums so well illustrated by this plant. It is a native of southeastern Brazil, unlike so many others that come from the rainforests of the upper Amazon basin and Central America. It was previously known as Costus igneus until Dr. Maas determined that the earlier name of cuspidatus was correct.

Chamaecostus cuspidatus grows to about 18 inches tall with dark green foliage that spirals around the leaf sheaths in typical Costus fashion. It will steadily increase to a nice sized clump and can be used as a ground cover.

The flowers are striking - very showy - and will appear regularly thoughout the growing season, sometimes creating a mass of bright orange color that is unmatched by any other ginger.

It is very rarely found in nature, growing in deep shade in the remaining forests of southeastern Brazil, but I have grown it successfully in 3-4 hours of mid-morning sun, and I believe it will flower better under those conditions. So long as the soil is kept moist (but fairly well drained) it does not suffer any leaf scorching.

Hardiness has been rated by several sources as zone 8, and Mike Bridges in his old Southern Perennials catalog indicated he had tested it to 10 degrees F. I have found (from my own unfortunate experience) that during winter dormancy it is possible to lose this plant from rotting of the rhizomes if the soil is kept too wet. I lost nearly all of what you see in these pictures over the winter of 2000-2001, and am just now rebuilding my stock of this delightful Costus.

If you have a place to grow it indoors in a pot, you will be rewarded by its bright orange flowers. Thanks to its compact size, this is quite manageable.


Chamaecostus cuspidatus Chamaecostus cuspidatus Chamaecostus cuspidatus

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