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

Gingersrus Database Taxon ID 3600

Costus laevis


OLD NAME: Costus guanaiensis var. tarmicus

NEW NAME: Costus laevis

NAME CHANGE NOTES: New name for former C. guanaiensis var. tarmicus

FULL SCIENTIFIC NAME: Costus laevis Ruiz & Pav.

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.)

SYNONYMS:
- Costus tarmicus Loes. (1929) - Costus tarapotensis J.F.Macbr. (1931) - Costus guanaiensis var. tarmicus (Loes.) Maas

BOTANICAL NOTES:
This proposed change in nomenclature involves the misinterpretations of the type specimens of both Costus guanaiensis Rusby and of Costus laevis Ruiz & Pavon, resulting in the current Costus guanaiensis var. tarmicus being changed to Costus laevis. For detailed explanations of the misinterpretations, click the links below:

It is proposed for publication in 2022 to split the current Costus guanaiensis var. tarmicus into two separate species. The plants that are in the form of the original Costus tarmicus Loesener will be changed to Costus laevis Ruiz & Pav. because it's publication pre-dates Loesener's publication. There is another group of plants, mostly from western Ecuador, that currently are considered part of Costus guanaiensis var. tarmicus, but will be split from tarmicus and published as a sp. nov. Costus gibossus.

The former Costus guanaiensis var. tarmicus was described in 1972 by Paul Maas as part of his monograph on neotropical Costaceae. He distinguished that form from the others by the indumenta on the leaves and sheaths being glabrous or only sparsely puberbulous vs. the more densely hairy leaves and sheaths of the other varieties. The variety was based upon the type specimen for Costus tarmicus Loesener, collected by A. Weberbauer in 1901 near La Merced in the province of Tarma, department Junín, Peru.

In December 2017 I traveled there to search for both this species and also for Costus weberbaueri. There and in adjacent department Pasco, I found this to be a very common species, quite consistent in the form of the inflorescence, but quite variable in terms of hairiness of the leaves and sheaths. It also became clear to me that the type for this species is completely different from the plants found in western Ecuador with the horizontal bract appendages and bulges in the basal parts of the sheaths at the margins. I prepared an analysis sheet of the various forms of bract appendages and hairiness for the plants that are currently considered this variety and Dr. Maas agreed that the species needed to be split between the plants of western Ecuador and those in the region of the type specimen in Peru.

After much study and after splitting out the Costus sp. nov. gibbosus, Dr. Maas prepared the following description to distinguish this "tarmicus" form (now to be named Costus laevis) from the others: "Costus tarmicus occurs all over western South America, from Colombia to Peru (PM doubts if the one collection from Venezuela also belongs here). It is marked by bracts which have weakly developed, green appendages. Another feature of this species is the often absence of any indument. There are, however, quite a few exceptions to this rule as the sheaths and/or the lower side of the leaves can be sparsely to densely puberulous to villose. An example of a dense indument is C. tarapotensis, which looks quite similar to typical C. tarmicus but which has the lower side of the leaves densely villose. As in all the three species of the former “Costus guanaiensis-group” (C. macrostrobilus, C. sinningiiflorus, and C. tarmicus) much additional work is needed to find out if more species are involved."

We also debated the status of the species Costus tarapotensis Macbride. It has a very similar inflorescence, with similar triangular bract appendages and similar flower to the plants found in the C. tarmicus type locality, but specimens generally are densely covered with soft white hairs, differing from the typical tarmicus (now laevis) plants. NOTE: In my opinion, Costus tarapotensis has other differences and should be considered a good species, separate from Costus laevis. More about that on the page for Costus tarapotensis 'Morning Star'.

In summary, the "new" Costus laevis has green, erect, triangular shaped, appendaged bracts, or triangular shaped bracts that look somewhat like appendages. The flowers are always terminal on a leafy stem, are erect or abaxially oriented with respect to the bracts, and form a long and broad tube with a spreading labelum that has red stripes. The corolla is usually white but some plants that have been placed within this species are found with yellow or even orange bracts. The plants I have seen that best fit into this species are found from the far south of Ecuador to central Peru along the eastern flanks of the Andes at elevations from about 500 to 1700 meters.

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. DNA has been extracted from several samples of this species but results have not yet been compiled in the phylogeny.

HORTICULTURAL NOTES:
This species has been in cultivation in botanical gardens in Hawaii and from there has been widely distributed. I misinterpreted it and listed it as Costus aff. claviger before I visited the type locality in Peru. It seems to have originated in the National Tropical Botanical Garden, their number 72S734, received from Robert Wilson, No. 65-346, original collection in Peru, probably Tingo Maria area. It is also grown in Waimea Arboretum as No. 74P389 and at Lyon Arboretum as 800705. I have even seen it cultivated in a private garden on the island of Borneo!

I have also now determined that the cultivar I registered as Costus 'Marco's Pride' from soutern Ecuador belongs in this species.

ACCESSIONS:Click links (if any) to see details of individual collections. R3000- R3008- R3327- R3329- R3330- R3375- R3379- R3412- R3413- R3414- R3543-


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Photos (if available) of Taxon ID 3600
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Costus sp. photo by Skinner, inat9225072 from Pasco, Peru<br> plant with brown hairs and flowers like sinningiiflorus but with bracts like C. tarmicus - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 148 Accession# R0
Costus sp. photo by Skinner, inat9225072 from Pasco, Peru
plant with brown hairs and flowers like sinningiiflorus but with bracts like C. tarmicus


Costus laevis f/k/a guanaiensis var. tarmicus - photo from Maas, Plowman 11585 from San Martin, Peru<br>Form 1, all glabrous, patent bracts, acutely triangular - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 117 Accession# R0
Costus laevis f/k/a guanaiensis var. tarmicus - photo from Maas, Plowman 11585 from San Martin, Peru
Form 1, all glabrous, patent bracts, acutely triangular


Costus laevis f/k/a guanaiensis var. tarmicus - photo by Skinner, from Tingo Maria BG, Huanuco, Peru<br>Form 1, all glabrous, patent bracts, acutely triangular - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 138 Accession# R0
Costus laevis f/k/a guanaiensis var. tarmicus - photo by Skinner, from Tingo Maria BG, Huanuco, Peru
Form 1, all glabrous, patent bracts, acutely triangular


Costus laevis f/k/a guanaiensis var. tarmicus - photo by Skinner, from Tingo Maria BG, Huanuco, Peru<br>Form 1, all glabrous, patent bracts, acutely triangular - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 139 Accession# R0
Costus laevis f/k/a guanaiensis var. tarmicus - photo by Skinner, from Tingo Maria BG, Huanuco, Peru
Form 1, all glabrous, patent bracts, acutely triangular


Costus laevis f/k/a guanaiensis var. tarmicus - photo by Skinner, from Pumahuassi, Huanuco, Peru<br>Form 2 all glabrous with distinctively separate leafy bract appendages - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 142 Accession# R0
Costus laevis f/k/a guanaiensis var. tarmicus - photo by Skinner, from Pumahuassi, Huanuco, Peru
Form 2 all glabrous with distinctively separate leafy bract appendages


Costus laevis f/k/a guanaiensis var. tarmicus - photo by Skinner, from Pumahuassi, Huanuco, Peru<br>Form 2 all glabrous with distinctively separate leafy bract appendages - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 143 Accession# R0
Costus laevis f/k/a guanaiensis var. tarmicus - photo by Skinner, from Pumahuassi, Huanuco, Peru
Form 2 all glabrous with distinctively separate leafy bract appendages


Costus sp. all glabrous but with huge leaves, and flower like C. sinnngiiflorus and with distinctively separate leafy bract appendages - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 144 Accession# R0
Costus sp. all glabrous but with huge leaves, and flower like C. sinnngiiflorus and with distinctively separate leafy bract appendages


Costus sp. all glabrous but with huge leaves, and flower like C. sinnngiiflorus and with distinctively separate leafy bract appendages - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 145 Accession# R0
Costus sp. all glabrous but with huge leaves, and flower like C. sinnngiiflorus and with distinctively separate leafy bract appendages


Costus sp. all glabrous but with huge leaves, and flower like C. sinnngiiflorus and with distinctively separate leafy bract appendages - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 146 Accession# R0
Costus sp. all glabrous but with huge leaves, and flower like C. sinnngiiflorus and with distinctively separate leafy bract appendages


Costus sp. photo by Skinner, inat9225072 from Pasco, Peru<br> plant with brown hairs and flowers like sinningiiflorus but with bracts like C. tarmicus - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 147 Accession# R0
Costus sp. photo by Skinner, inat9225072 from Pasco, Peru
plant with brown hairs and flowers like sinningiiflorus but with bracts like C. tarmicus


Costus laevis f/k/a guanaiensis var. tarmicus - photo by Skinner, inat3869898<br> from Mayo-Chinchipe valley, Ecuador, 'Marco's Pride' form<br>Form 1, all glabrous, patent bracts, acutely triangular - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 137 Accession# R0
Costus laevis f/k/a guanaiensis var. tarmicus - photo by Skinner, inat3869898
from Mayo-Chinchipe valley, Ecuador, 'Marco's Pride' form
Form 1, all glabrous, patent bracts, acutely triangular


Costus laevis f/k/a guanaiensis var. tarmicus - photo by Skinner, inat9224696<br>plant with thick white hairs, upper and lower sides of leaves and stem - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 149 Accession# R0
Costus laevis f/k/a guanaiensis var. tarmicus - photo by Skinner, inat9224696
plant with thick white hairs, upper and lower sides of leaves and stem


Costus laevis f/k/a guanaiensis var. tarmicus - photo by Skinner, inat9224696<br>plant with thick white hairs, upper and lower sides of leaves and stem - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 150 Accession# R0
Costus laevis f/k/a guanaiensis var. tarmicus - photo by Skinner, inat9224696
plant with thick white hairs, upper and lower sides of leaves and stem


Costus laevis f/k/a guanaiensis var. tarmicus - photo by Skinner, inat9225046 from Pasco, Peru<br>plant with white hairs, sparse upper side and thick lower side - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 151 Accession# R0
Costus laevis f/k/a guanaiensis var. tarmicus - photo by Skinner, inat9225046 from Pasco, Peru
plant with white hairs, sparse upper side and thick lower side


Costus laevis f/k/a guanaiensis var. tarmicus - photo by Skinner, inat9225046 from Pasco, Peru<br>plant with white hairs, sparse upper side and thick lower side - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 152 Accession# R0
Costus laevis f/k/a guanaiensis var. tarmicus - photo by Skinner, inat9225046 from Pasco, Peru
plant with white hairs, sparse upper side and thick lower side


Costus laevis type specimen - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 497 Accession# R0
Costus laevis type specimen


Costus laevis type specimen - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 498 Accession# R0
Costus laevis type specimen


Costus laevis type specimen - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 499 Accession# R0
Costus laevis type specimen


Costus laevis type specimen - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 500 Accession# R0
Costus laevis type specimen


Costus laevis f/k/a guanaiensis var. tarmicus - photo by Skinner, inat 9224521 from Pasco, Peru<br>Form 1, all glabrous, patent bracts, acutely triangular - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 128 Accession# R0
Costus laevis f/k/a guanaiensis var. tarmicus - photo by Skinner, inat 9224521 from Pasco, Peru
Form 1, all glabrous, patent bracts, acutely triangular


Costus laevis f/k/a guanaiensis var. tarmicus - photo by Skinner, from near La Merced, Dept Junin, Peru<br> believed to be consistent with TYPE<br>Form 1, all glabrous, patent bracts, acutely triangular - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 118 Accession# R0
Costus laevis f/k/a guanaiensis var. tarmicus - photo by Skinner, from near La Merced, Dept Junin, Peru
believed to be consistent with TYPE
Form 1, all glabrous, patent bracts, acutely triangular


Costus laevis f/k/a guanaiensis var. tarmicus - photo by Skinner, from near La Merced, Dept Junin, Peru<br> believed to be consistent with TYPE<br>Form 1, all glabrous, patent bracts, acutely triangular - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 119 Accession# R0
Costus laevis f/k/a guanaiensis var. tarmicus - photo by Skinner, from near La Merced, Dept Junin, Peru
believed to be consistent with TYPE
Form 1, all glabrous, patent bracts, acutely triangular


Costus laevis f/k/a guanaiensis var. tarmicus - photo by Skinner, from near La Merced, Dept Junin, Peru<br> believed to be consistent with TYPE<br>Form 1, all glabrous, patent bracts, acutely triangular - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 120 Accession# R0
Costus laevis f/k/a guanaiensis var. tarmicus - photo by Skinner, from near La Merced, Dept Junin, Peru
believed to be consistent with TYPE
Form 1, all glabrous, patent bracts, acutely triangular


Costus laevis f/k/a guanaiensis var. tarmicus - photo by Skinner, inat9210530 from Pasco, Peru<br>Form 1, all glabrous, patent bracts, acutely triangular - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 126 Accession# R0
Costus laevis f/k/a guanaiensis var. tarmicus - photo by Skinner, inat9210530 from Pasco, Peru
Form 1, all glabrous, patent bracts, acutely triangular


Costus laevis f/k/a guanaiensis var. tarmicus - photo by Skinner inat9216686 from Pasco,Peru<br>Form 1, all glabrous, patent bracts, acutely triangular - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 127 Accession# R0
Costus laevis f/k/a guanaiensis var. tarmicus - photo by Skinner inat9216686 from Pasco,Peru
Form 1, all glabrous, patent bracts, acutely triangular


Costus laevis f/k/a guanaiensis var. tarmicus - photo by Skinner, inat3869898<br> from Mayo-Chinchipe valley, Ecuador, 'Marco's Pride' form<br>Form 1, all glabrous, patent bracts, acutely triangular - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 136 Accession# R0
Costus laevis f/k/a guanaiensis var. tarmicus - photo by Skinner, inat3869898
from Mayo-Chinchipe valley, Ecuador, 'Marco's Pride' form
Form 1, all glabrous, patent bracts, acutely triangular


Costus laevis f/k/a guanaiensis var. tarmicus - photo by Skinner, inat9194879 from Pasco, Peru<br>Form 1, all glabrous, patent bracts, acutely triangular - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 129 Accession# R0
Costus laevis f/k/a guanaiensis var. tarmicus - photo by Skinner, inat9194879 from Pasco, Peru
Form 1, all glabrous, patent bracts, acutely triangular


Costus laevis f/k/a guanaiensis var. tarmicus - photo by Skinner, inat9195766 from Pasco, Peru<br>Form 1, all glabrous, patent bracts, acutely triangular - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 130 Accession# R0
Costus laevis f/k/a guanaiensis var. tarmicus - photo by Skinner, inat9195766 from Pasco, Peru
Form 1, all glabrous, patent bracts, acutely triangular


Costus laevis f/k/a guanaiensis var. tarmicus - photo by Skinner, inat9210530 from Pasco, Peru<br>Form 1, all glabrous, patent bracts, acutely triangular - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 131 Accession# R0
Costus laevis f/k/a guanaiensis var. tarmicus - photo by Skinner, inat9210530 from Pasco, Peru
Form 1, all glabrous, patent bracts, acutely triangular


Costus laevis f/k/a guanaiensis var. tarmicus - photo by Skinner, inat9210609 from Pasco Peru<br>Form 1, all glabrous, patent bracts, acutely triangular - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 132 Accession# R0
Costus laevis f/k/a guanaiensis var. tarmicus - photo by Skinner, inat9210609 from Pasco Peru
Form 1, all glabrous, patent bracts, acutely triangular


Costus laevis f/k/a guanaiensis var. tarmicus - photo by Skinner, inat9210687 from Pasco, Peru<br>Form 1, all glabrous, patent bracts, acutely triangular - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 133 Accession# R0
Costus laevis f/k/a guanaiensis var. tarmicus - photo by Skinner, inat9210687 from Pasco, Peru
Form 1, all glabrous, patent bracts, acutely triangular


Costus laevis f/k/a guanaiensis var. tarmicus - photo by Skinner, inat9216686 from Pasco, Peru<br>Form 1, all glabrous, patent bracts, acutely triangular - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 134 Accession# R0
Costus laevis f/k/a guanaiensis var. tarmicus - photo by Skinner, inat9216686 from Pasco, Peru
Form 1, all glabrous, patent bracts, acutely triangular


Costus laevis f/k/a guanaiensis var. tarmicus - photo by Skinner, inat3869898<br> from Mayo-Chinchipe valley, Ecuador, 'Marco's Pride' form<br>Form 1, all glabrous, patent bracts, acutely triangular - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 135 Accession# R0
Costus laevis f/k/a guanaiensis var. tarmicus - photo by Skinner, inat3869898
from Mayo-Chinchipe valley, Ecuador, 'Marco's Pride' form
Form 1, all glabrous, patent bracts, acutely triangular


Costus laevis f/k/a guanaiensis var. tarmicus - photo by Skinner R3375, from Cochero, Huanuco, Peru<br>Locality where Ruiz stayed, form probably seen by Ruiz<br>Form 2, all glabrous, with distinctly separate leafy bract appendages - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 141 Accession# R3375
Costus laevis f/k/a guanaiensis var. tarmicus - photo by Skinner R3375, from Cochero, Huanuco, Peru
Locality where Ruiz stayed, form probably seen by Ruiz
Form 2, all glabrous, with distinctly separate leafy bract appendages


Costus laevis f/k/a guanaiensis var. tarmicus - photo by Skinner R3375, from Cochero, Huanuco, Peru<br>Locality where Ruiz stayed, form probably seen by Ruiz<br>Form 2, all glabrous, with distinctly separate leafy bract appendages - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 140 Accession# R3375
Costus laevis f/k/a guanaiensis var. tarmicus - photo by Skinner R3375, from Cochero, Huanuco, Peru
Locality where Ruiz stayed, form probably seen by Ruiz
Form 2, all glabrous, with distinctly separate leafy bract appendages


Costus laevis f/k/a guanaiensis var. tarmicus - photo by Skinner R3412 from Jun+ˇn, Peru<br>Form 1, all glabrous, patent bracts, acutely triangular - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 124 Accession# R3412
Costus laevis f/k/a guanaiensis var. tarmicus - photo by Skinner R3412 from Jun+ˇn, Peru
Form 1, all glabrous, patent bracts, acutely triangular


Costus laevis f/k/a guanaiensis var. tarmicus - photo by Skinner R3412 from Jun+ˇn, Peru<br>Form 1, all glabrous, patent bracts, acutely triangular - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 123 Accession# R3412
Costus laevis f/k/a guanaiensis var. tarmicus - photo by Skinner R3412 from Jun+ˇn, Peru
Form 1, all glabrous, patent bracts, acutely triangular


Costus laevis f/k/a guanaiensis var. tarmicus - photo by Skinner R3413 from Jun+ˇn, Peru<br>Form 1, all glabrous, patent bracts, acutely triangular - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 125 Accession# R3413
Costus laevis f/k/a guanaiensis var. tarmicus - photo by Skinner R3413 from Jun+ˇn, Peru
Form 1, all glabrous, patent bracts, acutely triangular


Costus laevis f/k/a guanaiensis var. tarmicus - photo by Skinner R3414 from Junin, Peru<br>Form 1, all glabrous, patent bracts, acutely triangular - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 122 Accession# R3414
Costus laevis f/k/a guanaiensis var. tarmicus - photo by Skinner R3414 from Junin, Peru
Form 1, all glabrous, patent bracts, acutely triangular


Costus laevis f/k/a guanaiensis var. tarmicus - photo by Skinner R3414 from Junin, Peru<br>Form 1, all glabrous, patent bracts, acutely triangular - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 121 Accession# R3414
Costus laevis f/k/a guanaiensis var. tarmicus - photo by Skinner R3414 from Junin, Peru
Form 1, all glabrous, patent bracts, acutely triangular