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Datasheet for Costus montanus

Plant Datasheet for Costus montanus


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Photo# 11312 Specimen# R0
Costus montanus by Kathleen Kay, Michigan State University


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Photo# 11313 Specimen# R2887
Costus montanus
From Costa Rica, Rec'd from Smith College BG


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Photo# 11314 Specimen# R2887
Costus montanus
From Costa Rica, Rec'd from Smith College BG


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Photo# 11315 Specimen# R2887
Costus montanus
From Costa Rica, Rec'd from Smith College BG


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Photo# 12626 Specimen# R2972
Costus montanus
From Costa Rica,


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Photo# 12627 Specimen# R2972
Costus montanus
From Costa Rica,


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Photo# 12628 Specimen# R2972
Costus montanus
From Costa Rica,


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Photo# 12633 Specimen# R2972
Costus montanus
From Costa Rica,


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Photo# 12634 Specimen# R2972
Costus montanus
From Costa Rica,


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Photo# 12635 Specimen# R2972
Costus montanus
From Costa Rica,


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Photo# 12636 Specimen# R2972
Costus montanus
From Costa Rica,


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Photo# 12637 Specimen# R2972
Costus montanus
From Costa Rica,


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Photo# 12638 Specimen# R2972
Costus montanus
From Costa Rica,


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Photo# 12629 Specimen# R0
Costus montanus along road above Orosi, Costa Rica


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Photo# 12630 Specimen# R0
Costus montanus along road above Orosi, Costa Rica ligules


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Photo# 12631 Specimen# R0
Costus montanus along road above Orosi, Costa Rica


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Photo# 12632 Specimen# R0
Costus montanus along road above Orosi, Costa Rica


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Photo# 16745 Specimen# R0
UGA Herbariuim - 10581 Haber- NOT DET'D (Costus montanus).


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Photo# 16804 Specimen# R2887
Costus montanus
From Costa Rica, Rec'd from Smith College BG


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Photo# 16805 Specimen# R2887
Costus montanus
From Costa Rica, Rec'd from Smith College BG


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Photo# 16806 Specimen# R2887
Costus montanus
From Costa Rica, Rec'd from Smith College BG


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Photo# 16812 Specimen# R2972
Costus montanus
From Costa Rica,


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Photo# 16974 Specimen# R3293
Costus montanus
From Costa Rica,


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Photo# 16973 Specimen# R3293
Costus montanus
From Costa Rica,


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Photo# 16977 Specimen# R3296
Costus montanus
From Costa Rica,


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Photo# 16976 Specimen# R3296
Costus montanus
From Costa Rica,


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Photo# 16975 Specimen# R3296
Costus montanus
From Costa Rica,


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Photo# 16978 Specimen# R3296
Costus montanus
From Costa Rica,


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 #R2972 . (opens in new window).
CLICK HERE to see a description of accession #R3274 . (opens in new window).

PLANT FAMILY: Costaceae
BOTANICAL NAME: Costus montanus
FORMAL SCIENTIFIC NAME: Costus montanus Maas
STATUS :Accepted
CONTINENT: Neotropical
SYNONYMS:


BOTANICAL NOTES:
This is an accepted neo-tropical Costus species described by Paul Maas in 1972. Costus montanus grows to about 2 meters tall, has dense, soft hairs throughout and a very distinctive ligule with acutely triangular lobes 15-35 mm long. It is terminal flowering with red appendaged bracts, the tips of which are curled down and in. The calyx is well exposed behind the bracts. The flowers are tubular yellow to yellow-orange with densely hairy corolla lobes.

This species is endemic to Costa Rica and found only in cloud forests in the mountainous regions of central and north-central Costa Rica with population centers around Monteverde, the Tilaran Mountains and the Talamanca Mountains near Cartago at altitudes ranging from about 1000 - 1700 meters. The holotype was collected in 1937 by A. M. Brenes No. 22607, and is at NYBG from Costa Rica, Alajuela, San Pedro de San Ramon northwest of San Jose.

In 2014 I completed an IUCN Red List assessment for this species and it is now classified as Near Threatened. My assessment rationale can be found at http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/full/56347723/0.

ACCESSION NOTES:
R2887 from Smith College SCBG#7-01 from Monteverde,

R2972 from Lankester Gardens, Costa Rica,

R3293 seed from UGA, San Luis, near Monteverde,

R3296 seed from slopes above Rio Penas Blancas, seeds germinated but did not suvive summer heat. Note that I have had difficulty growing this species, as with other cloud forest plants, due to the hot Tallahassee summers.

R3371 from Nacientes Palmichal de Acosta, in the area behind the Cerrros de Escazu at 1500 meter.

OBSERVATION NOTES:

Nacientes Palmichal, Latitude 9.867474228, Longitude -84.02642301, at 1500 meters elevation.

UGA San Luis Campus, Monteverde, Costa Rica, Latitude 10.38916817, Longitude -84.69618945, at 1100 meters elevation.

Trail to Rio Pena Blancas below Monteverde, Costa Rica, Latitude 10.20541621, Longitude -84.65675707, at 1200 meters elevation.

Water Tower Rd. above Orosi, Cartago Province, Costa Rica, Latitude 9.666555649, Longitude -83.94110147, at 1500 meters elevation.

GINGERSRUS CATALOG LISTING:
Costus montanus flowers Costus montanus is a high altitude Costus from Costa Rica that looks superficially similar to the plant in horticulture sold as C. barbatus (I found the real Costus barbatus in 2011). I have never seen it listed for sale elsewhere, or in cultivation in any US botanical gardens. It is most easily distinguished from similar looking Costus by the acute triangular ligules.

This seems to be a very difficult plant to grow. It is usually found (in nature) in cloud forest with continual moisture and high humidity but with very good drainage. I have had a hard time keeping it going in my greenhouse and only brought it to flower one year. Hardiness has not been tested, but I assume this species will only be hardy in frost free areas.


Costus montanus plant Costus montanus ligule

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