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Datasheet for Costus arabicus

Plant Datasheet for Costus arabicus


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Photo# 15139 Specimen# R2979
Costus arabicus
From cultivated,


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Photo# 15140 Specimen# R2979
Costus arabicus
From cultivated,


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Photo# 15141 Specimen# R2990
Costus arabicus
From cultivated,


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Photo# 15142 Specimen# R2990
Costus arabicus
From cultivated,


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Photo# 15143 Specimen# R2990
Costus arabicus
From cultivated,


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Photo# 15144 Specimen# R2990
Costus arabicus
From cultivated,


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Photo# 15145 Specimen# R3214
Costus arabicus
From Guyana,


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Photo# 15146 Specimen# R3214
Costus arabicus
From Guyana,


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Photo# 15147 Specimen# R3214
Costus arabicus
From Guyana,


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Photo# 15148 Specimen# R3214
Costus arabicus
From Guyana,


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Photo# 15149 Specimen# R3214
Costus arabicus
From Guyana,


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Photo# 15150 Specimen# R3214
Costus arabicus
From Guyana,


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Photo# 15151 Specimen# R3214
Costus arabicus
From Guyana,


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Photo# 15152 Specimen# R3214
Costus arabicus
From Guyana,


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Photo# 15153 Specimen# R3214
Costus arabicus
From Guyana,


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Photo# 15154 Specimen# R3214
Costus arabicus
From Guyana,


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Photo# 15155 Specimen# R3214
Costus arabicus
From Guyana,


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Photo# 15156 Specimen# R0
Costus arabicus from Quebrada Cayapoza, Peru, off Rio Napo


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Photo# 15157 Specimen# R0
Costus arabicus from Quebrada Cayapoza, Peru, off Rio Napo


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Photo# 15158 Specimen# R0
Costus arabicus from Quebrada Cayapoza, Peru, off Rio Napo


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Photo# 15159 Specimen# R0
Costus arabicus from Quebrada Cayapoza, Peru, off Rio Napo


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Photo# 15160 Specimen# R0
Costus arabicus from Quebrada Cayapoza, Peru, off Rio Napo


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Photo# 15161 Specimen# R0
Costus arabicus from Quebrada Cayapoza, Peru, off Rio Napo


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Photo# 15473 Specimen# R0
Costus arabicus from Quebrada Cayapoza, Peru, off Rio Napo


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Photo# 15474 Specimen# R0
Costus arabicus from Quebrada Cayapoza, Peru, off Rio Napo


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Photo# 15475 Specimen# R3122
Costus arabicus
From Peru, Loreto


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Photo# 15476 Specimen# R3122
Costus arabicus
From Peru, Loreto


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Photo# 15477 Specimen# R3122
Costus arabicus
From Peru, Loreto


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Photo# 15478 Specimen# R3122
Costus arabicus
From Peru, Loreto


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Photo# 15479 Specimen# R3122
Costus arabicus
From Peru, Loreto


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Photo# 15480 Specimen# R3122
Costus arabicus
From Peru, Loreto


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Photo# 15481 Specimen# R2260
Costus arabicus
From cultivated,


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Photo# 15482 Specimen# R2260
Costus arabicus
From cultivated,


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Photo# 15483 Specimen# R2260
Costus arabicus
From cultivated,


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Photo# 15484 Specimen# R2260
Costus arabicus
From cultivated,


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Photo# 15485 Specimen# R2260
Costus arabicus
From cultivated,


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Photo# 15486 Specimen# R2260
Costus arabicus
From cultivated,


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Photo# 15487 Specimen# R2260
Costus arabicus
From cultivated,


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Photo# 15488 Specimen# R2260
Costus arabicus
From cultivated,


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Photo# 15489 Specimen# R2260
Costus arabicus
From cultivated,


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Photo# 15490 Specimen# R2260
Costus arabicus
From cultivated,


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Photo# 15491 Specimen# R2260
Costus arabicus
From cultivated,


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Photo# 15492 Specimen# R2260
Costus arabicus
From cultivated,


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Photo# 15493 Specimen# R2260
Costus arabicus
From cultivated,


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Photo# 15494 Specimen# R2260
Costus arabicus
From cultivated,


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Photo# 15495 Specimen# R2260
Costus arabicus
From cultivated,


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Photo# 16282 Specimen# R3124
Costus arabicus
From Peru, Loreto


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Photo# 16283 Specimen# R3124
Costus arabicus
From Peru, Loreto


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Photo# 16284 Specimen# R3124
Costus arabicus
From Peru, Loreto


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Photo# 16285 Specimen# R3124
Costus arabicus
From Peru, Loreto


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 #R3122 . (opens in new window).
BUY THIS PLANT from Gingers R Us (opens in new window).

PLANT FAMILY: Costaceae
BOTANICAL NAME: Costus arabicus
FORMAL SCIENTIFIC NAME: Costus arabicus L.
STATUS :Accepted
CONTINENT: Neotropical
SYNONYMS:
Costus niveo-purpureus Jacq. (1809), Costus sextus Roem. & Schult. (1817), Costus glabratus Sw. var. niveo-purpureus (Jacq.) Petersen (1890), Costus glabratus Sw. (1788), Costus niveus G.Mey. (1818), Costus discolor Roscoe (1828), Costus arrabidae Steud. (1840), Costus verschaffeltii Lem. (1854), Costus spiralis (Jacq.) Roscoe var. ? hirsutus Petersen (1890), Costus pubescens Sp.Moore (1895), Costus brasiliensis K.Schum. (1904), Costus validus Loes. (1929), Costus gracilis Loes. (1929), Costus pubescens Sp.Moore forma fibrillosus Loes. (1929), Costus ramosus Woodson (1939),

BOTANICAL NOTES:
This is an accepted neo-tropical Costus species first named by Linnaeus 1737. Costus arabicus is the type species for the genus Costus. There are many other species names that Paul Maas placed in synonymy with Costus arabicus. It is characterized by having green non-appendaged bracts and open labellum mostly white flowers. Normally it flowers terminally on a leafy stem but is reported rarely to flower from the base. Typically, the leaf base is cordate and the plants tend to branch - not only at the base of an old inflorescence, but also at lower leaf nodes. It is widely distributed from the Antilles to parts of South America east of the Andes. It is usually found in wet places and along river banks.

The TYPE is a drawing by Ehret of a plant cultivated in the Hortus Cliffortianus, deposited in the library of Sir Joseph Banks.

SYNONYMY: The following collections have been placed into synonymy with Costus arabicus.

Costus validus Loes. - Holotype collected in 1911 by E. H. G. Ule in Peru, Rio Acre.

Costus spiralis var. hirsutus Petersen - Isotype collected in 1849 by A. F. Regnell in Brazil, Minas Gerais.

Costus pilgeri K.Schum. - Isolectotype collected by Emile Hassler in Paraguay, Canindey├║, Iter ad Yerbales montium Sierra de Maracay├║. In regione fluminis Tapiraguay.

Costus ramosus Woodson - Isotype collected in 1938 by Albert Smith in Guyana, Basin of Shodikar Creek (Essequibo tributary), ca. 1┬░18'N

Costus gracilis Loes. - Holotype collected by E. H. G. Ule in Peru

I have seen this species in several places over a wide range - Amazon basin near Iquitos in Peru, Guyana at Iwokrama (with a two-keeled, bicarinate bracteole), central Brazil at Cristolino, and southeast Brazil, Espirito Santo.

TAXONOMY NOTES BY BRIAN MIDDLEDITCH - Costus arabicus L.: Costus arabicus has an intriguing history. The Dutch botanist van Rheede tot Drakestijn in 1692 described a plant that he called Tsjana-Kua (this was almost 100 years before the universal adoption of the genus-species system of nomenclature). He commented that it resembled Kostos arabikos, a plant described by the Greek physician Dioscorides (c. 40 -90 AD) in his De Materia Medica. But "Kostos arabikos" was unrelated to Tsjana-Kua and the modern genus Costus. It was a composite, possibly Saussurea lappa. Linnaeus (in 1737 - again, before the publication of his seminal Species Plantarum) came across your plant while cataloging the Hortus (garden) of Cliffort. He believed that it was identical to Tsjana-Kua, and he named it Costus arabicus as a tribute to Dioscorides. But the story does not end there. Tsjana-Kua is now known to be today's Costus speciosus (which originated in India and Southeast Asia). As luck would have it, though, the plant that Linnaeus described in 1737 was an entirely different species (from South America), that still - quite legitimately - bears the name Costus arabicus.

Checklist of the Plants of the Guianas - gopher://nmnhgoph.si.edu:70/0R217674-219444-/.docs/guianas_data//checkl2 - Costus arabicus L. [GU SU FG] NOTE: I found Costus arabicus in Guayana growing along the Rio Essequibo and was surprised to find that the bracteole was the bicarinate (two-keeled) shape instead of the normal Costus single-keeled boat shape as in other specimens of this species.

ANGUS BOTANICAL PRINTS - TITLE: Costus discolor. 1 print : lithograph, hand col. ; 54 x 42 cm. Published in William Roscoe, Monandrian Plants of the Order Scitamineae Chiefly Drawn from Living Specimens in the Botanical Gardens atLiverpool, pl. 81. Botanical illustration of a member of the ginger (Zingiberaceae) family. NOTE: C. discolor is obsolete synonym for C. arabicus. Roscoe called it C. discolor because the undersides of the leaves of his specimen were "scarlet" compared to the green upper sides. He also said the shape of the flower resembles an Egyptian mummy.

ACCESSION NOTES:
R2260 from Smithsonian USBG1992-033 has a nearly pure white labellum with very pale yellow nectar entrance.

R2979, R2980 & R2990 all from John Banta, origin unknown; R3021 called "Stokes White" origin unknown;

R3122 from Quistococha, Peru near Iquitos has been vouchered at the UC Berkeley, Jepsen Herbarium, UC2045806. It has dark pink markings and a yellow throat to the labellum. Does not produce the branching habit this species is known for. It does have the distinctive cordate leaf base and otherwise is consistent with the species characters.

Peru; R3124 from Rio Mazon, Peru has been vouchered at the UC Berkeley, Jepsen Herbarium, UC2045805. It has the pure white labellum with yellow throat, but is different from others by having bracts red at base and partially exposed red below the green apex.

R3214 from Iwokrama, Guyana was aberrent in having a bicamerate (two-keeled) bracteole, something found in only two other Costus species (C. osae and C. ricus).

R3253 from Cristalino, Brazil did not survive.

OBSERVATION NOTES:

Ariosto Island, Rio Teles, State of Mato Grosso, Brazil, Latitude -9.63, Longitude -55.94, at 230 meters elevation.

Turtle Mtn Base Camp, Iwokrama, Guyana, Latitude 4.749, Longitude -58.812, at 65 meters elevation.

Quistococha, Peru, Latitude -3.828, Longitude -73.324, at 100 meters elevation.

along Rio Mazán, Maynas Province, Peru, Latitude -3.51439, Longitude -73.14, at 90 meters elevation.

Quebrada Cayapoza, off Rio Napo, Maynas Province, Peru, Latitude -3.429, Longitude -73.16, at 100 meters elevation.

GINGERSRUS CATALOG LISTING:
Costus arabicus Costus arabicus is a vigorous growing Costus, and is in fact the type species for the genus. It is characterized by pure white flowers with a splash of yellow in the labellum, green bracts, stems that branch as in Cheilocostus, and a cordate leaf base. As the inflorescense matures, the bracts will sometimes open up exposing their bright red interiors and putting on a "second show" so to speak.

I have seen this plant in nature in Amazonian Peru, in Guyana and in Brazil. In nature it is usually found along river banks and in relatively wet places, so that should give us a clue on how to grow it.

The foliage is tropical and attractive, medium green, spiraling around the sheaths. The late Bob Riffle, in The Tropical Look gave this a conservative cold hardiness rating of zone 9B, but I have found this Costus to be susceptible to rotting of the rhizomes if left outside in winter wet conditions while dormant. This Costus will grow well in a range from part sun to filtered shade. During active growth it needs rich, moist, organic soil.


Costus arabicus - exposed bracts Costus arabicus - exposed bracts Costus arabicus - exposed bracts

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