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Datasheet for Costus sanguineus

Plant Datasheet for Costus sanguineus

BOTANICAL NAME: Costus sanguineus
CONTINENT: Neotropical

Not a valid species - obsolete synonym.
Le Jardin Ombragé - NOTE: the plant that is found in the hort trade as Costus sanguineus is usually either Costus varzearum or Costus erythrophyllus.

Schumann describes this species and places in subgenus Eucostus - Das Pflanzenreich IV, 1904.

Specimen at NYBG Herbarium -

Image: Available at CostaceaeCostus sanguineus Donn. Sm. (Isotype) Image: Available Location: Guatemala. Alta Verapaz. Cubilquitz. Alt. 350 m. Collector: H. v. Türckheim 7686May 1901 Description: Fertile. Habitat: Publication: Bot. Gaz. 31: 122. 1901. Other: NY Specimen ID: 320328Ex Herbarium: Columbia University

From: Tom Wood - Costus sanguineus is a validly published name which is synonymouswith C. pulverulentus. The type description is by Donnell Smith in the Botanical Gazette Vol. 31: pg 122, 1901, but it is also described in Schumann, Das Pflanzenreich Vol 46: pg 402 which publication I'm sure you aware of. Three species have been erroneously sold under that name: C. laevis, C. erythrophyllus, and C. varzearum all of which have leavesthe are red on the underside. What you have sounds like C. varzearum which has thin, narrow leaves that have a wavy margin, appendaged bracts that are maroon underneath, and tubular flowers with a yellowish corolla and a short, reflexed lip that is yellowish with narrow reddish stripes.

From:Brian Middleditch - << Is Costus sanguineus a valid species? >>Dave. The short answer is no. It is now considered to be Costus pulverulentus. However, Maas has pointed out that there is introgression between Costus pulverulentus and other Costus species (based upon his studies of herbarium specimens). So you should not be too surprised if your "Costus sanguineus" differs from the definitive description of Costus pulverulentus. The original description of "Costus sanguineus" was published in the Botanical Gazette in 1901 (volume 31, page 122). I have never looked at it because it is now irrelevant. Brian (Houston)

Mercer Arboretum and Botanical Gardens of Houston, Texas, described with red color on back of leaves.

W3Tropicos - - Costus sanguineus Donn. Sm. Published in: Botanical Gazette 31(2): 122. 1901. {Bot. Gaz. ; BPH 220.08} Type - protologue Guatemala: Alta Verapaz: Cubilqüitz, alt. 350 m, May 1900, H. von Tuerckheim 7686 Type - specimen(s) HT: H. von Tuerckheim 7686, May 1900, Guatemala: Alta Verapaz: Cubilqüitz, alt. 350 m (US; IT: GH, K, LE, M). Cited in: Author(s): Breedlove, D. E. Date: 1986Title: Flora de Chiapas Publication: Listados Florísticos de Mexico Collation: 4: i--v, 1--246 ; Author(s): Molina R., A. Date: 1975 Title: Enumeracion de las plantas de Honduras Publication: Ceiba Collation: 19(1): 1--118 ; Author(s): Standley, P.C. & Steyermark, J.A. Date: 1952 Title: Zingiberaceae. In Flora of Guatemala - Part III Publication: Fieldiana, Botany Collation: 24(3): 191 NOTE: Maas appears to classify this as a syn for C. pulverulentus. - Costus sanguineus J.D. Smith 9988, 13561, T2578, T2676, T3326, T3568, RT40494, RT40573, 20769.


Le Jardin Ombragé - newly planted rhizome, spring 2000. NOTE that this is not a listed species in Maas' Flora Neotropica, and I have not seen it in any other publication, although it is very popular in the trade and displayed in several botanical gardens and conservatories. It might be confused with Costus erythrophyllus. Potted up and moved to greenhouse for the winter. Planted out in spring, survived near freezing temp in greenhouse. Bloomed in early summer. (NOTE: this specimen is identical to aother plant I have identified as Costus varzearum.)
Description of specimen at Le Jardin Ombragé that was received as Costus sanguineus and later determined to be Costus varzearum:

Height = 3 ft.

Sheath = 15 mm, purplish color, glabrous

Ligule = 30 mm, two lobed, glabrous but having a few long fibers on edges

Petiole = 15 mm, glabrous, purplish color

Leaf = up to 22 cm long by 11 cm wide, dark green with purple underside, glabrous thoughout, apex acute to shortly acuminate

Infl = hemispherical with several flowers at a time appearing in spiral from under the bracts

Bracts = green, with appendages curved outward

Flowers = overall yellow in color with red markings

Corolla = 60 mm long, solid yellow

Labellum = 50 mm long, 30 mm wide when spread out, yellow with red striping markings on lip

Stamen = 40 mm long, yellow with a red tip

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