This page contains photos and description of a species, form or cultivar of Costaceae.

Gingersrus Database Taxon ID 3227

Costus stenophyllus


OLD NAME: Costus stenophyllus

NEW NAME: Costus stenophyllus

NAME CHANGE NOTES:

FULL SCIENTIFIC NAME: Costus stenophyllus Standl. & L.O.Williams

STATUS : accepted

CONTINENT: Neotropical

FIELD OBSERVATIONS:(If field observations are available, you can click on the link to open in a new window.)
FIELD OBSERVATIONS

PHOTOS:(If photos are available, you can click on the link to open in a new window.)
GOOGLE PHOTO ALBUM

SYNONYMS:


BOTANICAL NOTES:
Costus stenophyllus is an accepted species of neotropical Costus that was described in 1952 by Paul Carpenter Standley and L. O. Williams in the journal Ceiba (published by the Escuela Agricola Panamericana, Zamorano in Tegucigalpa, Honduras), Vol. 3:38. The type specimen was collected by P. H. Allen in 1951 in the "Esquinas Forest" of Puntarenas, Costa Rica which is now the Piedras Blancas National Park north of Golfito.

Costus stenophyllus is endemic to the Osa Peninsula area of Costa Rica where it flowers in the rainy season. I have seen it throughout the northern part of the peninsula and on the north and east sides of the Golfo Dulce. It is usually found on ridges and well drained slopes, but I also found it common on flatter ground near Drake. I completed an assessment for the IUCN Red List in 2014, and it is now classified as Least Concern. My assessment can be found at http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/full/56349106/0.

It is easy to recognize, in flower or not, having very narrow leaves and straight bamboo-like stems. The flowers form on a basal inflorescence on a separate leafless shoot with red bracts and yellow tubular flowers in which the stamen far exceeds the labellum, thus fully exposing the thecae. This combination of floral characters is found on several other mostly rare and endemic neotropical species, including C. sp. nov. alticolus from Oaxaca, Mexico, C. geothyrsus from western Ecuador, C. asteranthus from Puno, Peru and C. fissicalyx from Amazonian Colombia. What is remarkable to me is that this same formation is also found in Africa in the species Costus giganteus which is endemic to the islands of s Săo Tomé and Principe off the coast of that continent. I think these species would be good subjects for further research into their genetic origins and pollinator preferences.

A preliminary phylogeny was completed by Eugenio Valderrama and his associates in the Chelsea Specht Lab at Cornell University and was published in the journal Frontiers in Plant Science in September 2022. DNA from my accession (R2613) was extracted and the whole genome was sequenced at Cornell Univversity in the Chelsea Specht Lab. It was well supported in a separate clade and on an early lineage in the phylogeny tree.

HORTICULTURAL NOTES:
Based on information at the Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI) this species is in ex situ cultivation at 29 botanical gardens world wide. I have found this species to be relatively easy to grow in my garden and greenhouses at Le Jardín Ombrage. It seems to perform best when it is crowded in a container.

ACCESSIONS:Click links (if any) to see details of individual collections. R2102- R2613-


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Photos (if available) of Taxon ID 3227
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Costus stenophyllus, photo by Skinner in La Gamba area, Puntarenas, Costa Rica - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 356 Accession# R0
Costus stenophyllus, photo by Skinner in La Gamba area, Puntarenas, Costa Rica


Costus stenophyllus, flower detail,  photo by Skinner in La Gamba area, Puntarenas, Costa Rica - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 357 Accession# R0
Costus stenophyllus, flower detail, photo by Skinner in La Gamba area, Puntarenas, Costa Rica


Costus stenophyllus type specimen - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 533 Accession# R0
Costus stenophyllus type specimen


Costus stenophyllus type specimen - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 534 Accession# R0
Costus stenophyllus type specimen