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

Gingersrus Database Taxon ID 3757

Costus phyllocephalus

OLD NAME: Costus phyllocephalus

NEW NAME: Costus phyllocephalus


FULL SCIENTIFIC NAME: Costus phyllocephalus K.Schum.

STATUS : accepted


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

- Costus nudicaulis Baker (1898) - Costus dewevrei De Wild. & T.Durand in Durand & De Wildeman (1899) - Costus fissiligulatus Gagnep. (1902a) - Costus fissiligulatus Gagnep. var. major Gagnep. (1902a) - Costus ubangiensis Gagnep. (1902a) - Costus nudicaulis Baker var. pilosa Gagnep. (1902b) - Costus violaceus Koechlin (1964) - Costus foliaceus Lock & A.D.Poulsen in Poulsen & Lock (1997)

This African species is recognized in Paul Maas' monograph on African Costaceae, published on 16 December 2016. (Monograph of African Costaceae, H. Maas-van de Kamer, P.J.M. Maas, J.J. Wieringa, C.D. Specht, Blumea 61, 2016: 280 - 318,

The African Plant Database lists this species as uncertain status, resembling C. fissiligulatus but leaves glabrous. Angola: Quango River, on banks (type: Teusz in Mechow n° 508). Also reported from Zaire: Equateur (Dewčvre n° 556; Bingila (Dupuis s.n.); Bas-Congo (Kinshasa, cf. Latham & Konda, l.c.; Kikongo and Kimbala, cf. Renier, l.c.). Paul Maas has placed several cultivated species into synonymy with Costus phyllocephalus, including Costus fissiligulatus which is well known in cultivation under the cultivar name 'African Queen'. That cultivar however does not at all match the Paul Maas description of Costus phyllocephalus so 'African Queen' might be a different species altogether. I have not studied the African Costus species thoroughly enough to be able to understand all the nuances of these species. Furthermore, I have never been to Africa myself to see them growing in nature.
National Botanic Garden of Belgium (from Democratic Republic of Congo)

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Schumann describes this species and places in subgenus Eucostus - Das Pflanzenreich IV, 1904.
Costus phyllocephalus K. Schum. In Engler's Bot. Jahrb. XX. (1892) 420; Bak. N Th. Dyer, FI. Trop. Afr. VII. (1898) 298; De Wild. Et Dur. PI. Dewevr. (1901) 230. - -
Caulis florens superne 5 mm crassus. [Stem flowering from above 5 mm thick.]
Folia breviter (5 mm) petiolata obovato-oblonga vel rotundato-rhombea acuminata acutissima basi attenuata infima anguste rotundata utrinque glabra ad 47 cm longa et 6.5 cm lata, [Leaves, short petiolate 5 mm, obovate-oblong or rounded-rhomboid, acuminate-acute, at the base attenuate, lowest leaves narrowly rounded, glabrous on both sides, to 47 cm long and 6.5 cm wide.]
Ligula alte (ad 3 cm) supra petiolum producta membranacea oblique truncata. Infra apicem mucronulata. [Ligule to 3 cm above petiole, membranous, obliquely truncate, mucronulate below apex.]
Spica globosa ad 5 cm diam., bracteae lamina ad 7 cm, longa instructae; [Spike globose to 5 cm in diameter, bract with leaf blade to 7 cm long.]
calyx turbinatus breviter denatus ad medium unilateraliter fissus; [calyx shortly turbinate, dentate, unilaterally split]
corollae tubus 1.5 cm longus fauce pilis obscuris arctus; lobi laneeolati 4 cm longi; [Corolla tube 1.5 cm long, with hairs, narrow lobed, lanceolate, 4 cm long.]
labellum obovatum crispatum glabrum album et pallide roseum ad 5.5 cm longum.[Labellum obovate, curled glabrous, white and paley rose-coloured to 5.5 cm long.]
Angola: Am Quango-ThaIe (Teusz in Mechow n. 508). - Congogebiet: Equateur (Dewevre n. 556, bluhend am 30 Dezeniber 1895, mosasanga der Eingeborenen).

Flora of Tropical Africa, 1898 - describes this species, short, slender stems, terminal inflo., large ligules, leafy tips (appendages) on bracts. Lower Guinea, Angola, banks of Quango River.
"1. C. Phyllocephalus, Schumann in Engl. Jahrb. Xv. 420. Leafystem terete, glabrous, very slender, under afoot long. Leaves obovate-oblong, 5-6 in. long, about 2 in. broad at the middle, acuminate,narrowed to the base, glabrous on both sides; petiole very short;ligule large, obliquely truncate, membranous, subacute, mucronatebelow the apex. Spike many-flowered, 2 in. diam.; bracts furnishedwith a leafy point.. Calyx above 1/2 in. long; lobes very short. Corolla-lobes oblong-Ianceolate, 1 1/2 in. long. Lip obovate-cuneate, 2 in. longand broad; petaloid filament much shorter than the lip, 1/3-1/2 in. broad;anther-cells. 1/5 in. long. .
Lower Guinea. Angola; banks of the Quango River, Teuscz 508.No specimen in the Kew Herbarium.


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Costus phyllocephalus - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 635 Accession# R0
Costus phyllocephalus