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Photo# 12164 Accession# R0
Costus zingiberoides by Ray Lampert at Nat'l Botanic Garden of Belgium
CLICK HERE for a detailed botanical description and identification key for this species (opens in new window).
PLANT FAMILY: Costaceae
BOTANICAL NAME: Costus zingiberoides
FORMAL SCIENTIFIC NAME: Costus zingiberoides J.F.Macbr.
This is an accepted neo-tropical Costus species first described in 1931.
Maas, Flora Neotropica No. 8 - species #27, Maas classifies in subgenus Costus. Describes as slender plants, about 1 m tall, ligule truncate, 1-2 mm long and hairy like the sheaths. Petiole is 1-4 mm long, leaves are linear, grass-like, rounded or cunate at base and gradually narrowed to the apex, 12-22 cm long and 1.5-2.5 cm wide, upper side is glabrous, underside is densely minutely puberlous. Infl cylindric, 5-10 cm long, 2-3.5 cm wide, bracts are orange-red, corolla bright yellow. Distribution in Peru. Maas says this is very easily recognized by its linear leaves, the only other species with such leaves being C. stenophyllus.
I have been to the upper Rio Huallaga area but not to the lower Rio Huallaga where this species is reported and I have never seen the plant in the wild or in cultivation. The only photos I have seen were from the Nat'l Botanic Garden of Belgium, but the photo from there has not been verified. Plants of Costus asplundii have sometimes been incorrectly identified as C. zingiberoides.