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

Gingersrus Database Taxon ID 3433

Costus macrostrobilus


OLD NAME: Costus guanaiensis var. macrostrobilus

NEW NAME: Costus macrostrobilus

NAME CHANGE NOTES: The C. guanaiensis complex is split into 4 species, var. macrostrobilus becomes a separate species Costus macrostrobilus.

FULL SCIENTIFIC NAME: Costus macrostrobilus K.Schum.

STATUS : stat. nov.

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.)
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SYNONYMS:
- Costus guanaiensis Rusby var. macrostrobilus (K.Schum.) Maas (1972) - Costus macrostrobilus K.Schum. in Urban (1903) - Costus argenteus auct. non Ruiz & Pav.: L.F.Gagnep. (1902) - Costus villosissimus auct. non Jacq.: Rowlee (1922) - Costus scaber auct. non Ruiz & Pav.: Loes. (1931) - Costus friedrichsenii auct. non Petersen: Woodson (1942)

BOTANICAL NOTES:
Costus guanaiensis is another of the species that will be completely changed when our revision to new world Costaceae has been published. As was the case with Costus laevis, the type specimen for Costus guanaiensis was incorrectly interpreted. All the varieties of that species as it was formerly known will have new names, and the species name Costus guanaiensis will be applied to an entirely different group of plants. A full explanation of these changes can be found at http://gingersrus.com/Costus_guanaiensis_changes_explained.pdf

In his 1977 update to the monograph on new world Costaceae, Paul Maas listed three varieties of the species Costus guanaiensis - var. guanaiensis, var. macrostrobilus, and var. tarmicus, (having made Costus asplundii a separate species). He distinguished the three based on their indumenta, with var. macrostrobilus having "upper side of leaves strigose, somewhat scabrid to the touch" - the other two varieties either having dense brown hairs or being mostly glabrous. I always had difficulty in the field distinguishing the three varieties as the hairiness in Costus generally is variable and there often seemed to be a mix of two forms in the same region.

Dr. Maas had proposed to change the status of the former var. macrostrobilus into a discrete species Costus macrostrobilus but the problem of defining the species and distinguishing it from the others was still a challenge. So, I attempted to find other characters that might separate this from the others. After studying from my many field photos, I began to see a clear geographical pattern to the shape of the bract appendages. All of the plants in this group from Costa Rica, Panama, western Colombia and western Ecuador had bract appendages with a concave surface and a somewhat pungent apex. There were some others that were less certain from Trinidad that had a much smaller triangular bract appendage. Most of the remaining collections clearly attributable to this variety based on the indumenta were in Venezuela, and I have been unable due to the political and economic situation to safely travel there.

In the current draft description planned for publication in 2022, Costus macrostrobilus is distinguished as follows: "It is characterized by bracts with distinct, green, thick and leafy appendages, which have a concave surface and are somewhat pungent at the apex. Moreover, the leaves are very well recognizable because both sides are more or less densely hairy, but an even better feature, particularly very useful in recognizing herbarium material, is the fact that the upper surface of the leaves is somewhat rough to the touch. The last feature is only seen in few other species (like C. lima)."

The type specimen for Costus macrostrobilus was collected in Puerto Rico in 1972 (selected by Paul Maas) and it replaced the orginal 1883 collection. The original description of this species by Karl Schumann appeared in Urban's Symbolae Antillanae,seu, Fundamenta florae Indiae Occidentalis, Vol. IV, 1903, pg 159. Here Schumann wrote: "ibidem in monte Jimenes ad habitationes culta", which if I am translating correctly says "Jimenes place on the mountain at the earliest settlements". Botanists in Puerto Rico have told me that there are no native Costus species in Puerto Rico, and if that is correct, perhaps that is why Schumann made that comment. Schumann also listed specimens Sintenis n. 1740 (from the same locality in Puerto Rico) and Stahl n. 736 and Fendler n. 864 (from Trinidad).

When I visited Trinidad in 2018 I found that there were forms of this species with two distinct shapes of bract appendages - one form with a triangular shaped leafy appendage clearly separate from the bract and another form with just a small triangular appendage, shaped more like the species Costus tarmicus. Paul Maas collected and photographed the second from during his visit to Trinidad in 1965 (Maas 3400). This form is quite different looking from the form found in Costa Rica, Panama, western Colombia, and western Ecuador. It seems to be close to the form I have seen on images of herbaria specimens from Venezuela. The hairiness of the forms I saw on Trinidad were quite variable. For now, both forms will be lumped together in this species. It remains a difficult species to define clearly.

A partial 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. The molecular phylogeny includes six samples that have been determined as Costus macrostrobilus. They are all closely clustered, but are in separate clades as follows:

  1. Maas 3400 from Trinidad with the small triangular appendages (mentioned above) is in a separate clade at the base of the cluster.
  2. TA25 from the Rio Abacate, a tributary of the Rio Uatumă in Amazonas, Brazil, northeast of Manaus. This began a second clade.
  3. Specht CS00253 from El unque, Puerto Rico, probably with leafy triangular appendages, is in the next clade which contains Skinner R3209 from the Cabo Matapalo, Osa Peninsula of Costa Rica, having the described form with concave appendages and pungent apex, Specht CS01271 also from Costa Rica (form unknown), and Skinner R3442 from Guatemala, with triangular leafy appendages.

I believe that additional sampling would be needed to draw any clear conclusions other than the fact that all these are closely grouped together in the preliminary phylogeny.

HORTICULTURAL NOTES:
Based on information at the Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI) this species is in ex situ cultivation at only 2 botanical gardens world wide, under the old name Costus guanaiensis var. macrostrobilus .

ACCESSIONS:Click links (if any) to see details of individual collections. R2087- R2666- R2930- R3069- R3140- R3141- R3149- R3150- R3209- R3356- R3440- R3441- R3442-


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Photos (if available) of Taxon ID 3433
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Costus macrostrobilus, from Bahia Solano, Choco, Colombia<br>Form 1 - succulent appendage, concave, pungent apex - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 25 Accession# R0
Costus macrostrobilus, from Bahia Solano, Choco, Colombia
Form 1 - succulent appendage, concave, pungent apex


Costus macrostrobilus, from Bahia Solano, Choco, Colombia<br>Form 1 - succulent appendage, concave, pungent apex - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 26 Accession# R0
Costus macrostrobilus, from Bahia Solano, Choco, Colombia
Form 1 - succulent appendage, concave, pungent apex


Costus aff. macrostrobilus, Costa Rica, Mastatal<br>Form 1 -  succulent appendage, concave, pungent apex - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 27 Accession# R0
Costus aff. macrostrobilus, Costa Rica, Mastatal
Form 1 - succulent appendage, concave, pungent apex


Costus aff. macrostrobilus, Costa Rica, Mastatal<br>Form 1 -  succulent appendage, concave, pungent apex - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 28 Accession# R0
Costus aff. macrostrobilus, Costa Rica, Mastatal
Form 1 - succulent appendage, concave, pungent apex


Costus macrostrobilus, from Trinidad, photo by Skinner<br>Form 1, succulent appendage, concave, pungent apex - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 35 Accession# R0
Costus macrostrobilus, from Trinidad, photo by Skinner
Form 1, succulent appendage, concave, pungent apex


Costus macrostrobilus, from Trinidad, photo by Skinner<br>Form 1, succulent appendage, concave, pungent apex - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 36 Accession# R0
Costus macrostrobilus, from Trinidad, photo by Skinner
Form 1, succulent appendage, concave, pungent apex


Costus macrostrobilus, from Trinidad, photo by Skinner<br>Form 1, succulent appendage, concave, pungent apex - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 39 Accession# R0
Costus macrostrobilus, from Trinidad, photo by Skinner
Form 1, succulent appendage, concave, pungent apex


Costus aff macrostrobilus, from Trinidad,  photo by Skinner<br>Form 2 - small triangular bract appendage and conspicuous nectar callous - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 40 Accession# R0
Costus aff macrostrobilus, from Trinidad, photo by Skinner
Form 2 - small triangular bract appendage and conspicuous nectar callous


Costus aff macrostrobilus, Maas 3400 TRIN U0999314.jpg<br>Form 2 - small triangular bract appendage and conspicuous nectar callous - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 41 Accession# R0
Costus aff macrostrobilus, Maas 3400 TRIN U0999314.jpg
Form 2 - small triangular bract appendage and conspicuous nectar callous


Costus macrostrobilus, photo from Maas, Venezueala van Rooden 21 VEN U0999322.jpg<br>Form 2 - small triangular bract appendage and conspicuous nectar callous - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 42 Accession# R0
Costus macrostrobilus, photo from Maas, Venezueala van Rooden 21 VEN U0999322.jpg
Form 2 - small triangular bract appendage and conspicuous nectar callous


Costus macrostrobilus type specimen - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 505 Accession# R0
Costus macrostrobilus type specimen


Costus macrostrobilus, cultivated plant from Puerto Rico, Skinner R2666, received from Bryan Brunner, origin unknown<br>Form 4 - leafy bract appendages - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 53 Accession# R2666
Costus macrostrobilus, cultivated plant from Puerto Rico, Skinner R2666, received from Bryan Brunner, origin unknown
Form 4 - leafy bract appendages


Costus macrostrobilus, cultivated plant from Puerto Rico, Skinner R2666, received from Bryan Brunner, origin unknown<br>Form 4 - leafy bract appendages - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 54 Accession# R2666
Costus macrostrobilus, cultivated plant from Puerto Rico, Skinner R2666, received from Bryan Brunner, origin unknown
Form 4 - leafy bract appendages


Costus macrostrobilus, from Reserva Juaneche, Ecuador, Skinner R3069<br>Form 1 -  succulent appendage, concave, pungent apex - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 31 Accession# R3069
Costus macrostrobilus, from Reserva Juaneche, Ecuador, Skinner R3069
Form 1 - succulent appendage, concave, pungent apex


Costus macrostrobilus, from Reserva Juaneche, Ecuador, Skinner R3069<br>Form 1 -  succulent appendage, concave, pungent apex - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 32 Accession# R3069
Costus macrostrobilus, from Reserva Juaneche, Ecuador, Skinner R3069
Form 1 - succulent appendage, concave, pungent apex


Costus macrostrobilus, from Costa Rica, Osa Peninsula, Skinner R3209<br>Form 1 -  succulent appendage, concave, pungent apex - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 29 Accession# R3209
Costus macrostrobilus, from Costa Rica, Osa Peninsula, Skinner R3209
Form 1 - succulent appendage, concave, pungent apex


Costus macrostrobilus, from Costa Rica, Osa Peninsula, Skinner R3209<br>Form 1 -  succulent appendage, concave, pungent apex - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 30 Accession# R3209
Costus macrostrobilus, from Costa Rica, Osa Peninsula, Skinner R3209
Form 1 - succulent appendage, concave, pungent apex


Costus macrostrobilus, from Panama, Skinner R3356<br>Form 1 - succulent appendage, concave, pungent apex - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 33 Accession# R3356
Costus macrostrobilus, from Panama, Skinner R3356
Form 1 - succulent appendage, concave, pungent apex


Costus macrostrobilus, from Panama, Skinner R3356<br>Form 1 - succulent appendage, concave, pungent apex - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 34 Accession# R3356
Costus macrostrobilus, from Panama, Skinner R3356
Form 1 - succulent appendage, concave, pungent apex


Costus aff. macrostrobilus,  Skinner R3395, Villa Tunari, Bolivia<br>Form 1 - succulent appendage, concave, pungent apex - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 23 Accession# R3395
Costus aff. macrostrobilus, Skinner R3395, Villa Tunari, Bolivia
Form 1 - succulent appendage, concave, pungent apex


Costus aff. macrostrobilus,  Skinner R3395, Villa Tunari, Bolivia<br>Form 1 - succulent appendage, concave, pungent apex - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 24 Accession# R3395
Costus aff. macrostrobilus, Skinner R3395, Villa Tunari, Bolivia
Form 1 - succulent appendage, concave, pungent apex


Costus aff. macrostrobilus, Skinner R3440, from Trinidad<br>Form 2 - small triangular bract appendage and conspicuous nectar callous - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 37 Accession# R3440
Costus aff. macrostrobilus, Skinner R3440, from Trinidad
Form 2 - small triangular bract appendage and conspicuous nectar callous


Costus aff. macrostrobilus, Skinner R3440, from Trinidad<br>Form 2 - small triangular bract appendage and conspicuous nectar callous - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 38 Accession# R3440
Costus aff. macrostrobilus, Skinner R3440, from Trinidad
Form 2 - small triangular bract appendage and conspicuous nectar callous


Costus aff. macrostrobilus, Skinner R3442, Alta Verapaz, Guatemala<br>Form 4 - leafy bract appendages - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 51 Accession# R3442
Costus aff. macrostrobilus, Skinner R3442, Alta Verapaz, Guatemala
Form 4 - leafy bract appendages


Costus aff. macrostrobilus, Skinner R3442, Alta Verapaz, Guatemala<br>Form 4 - leafy bract appendages - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 52 Accession# R3442
Costus aff. macrostrobilus, Skinner R3442, Alta Verapaz, Guatemala
Form 4 - leafy bract appendages