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Datasheet for Costus chartaceus

Plant Datasheet for Costus chartaceus

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Costus chartaceus at Lyon Arboretum - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 15284 Accession# R0
Costus chartaceus at Lyon Arboretum


Costus chartaceus at National Botanic Garden, Washington DC, note incorrect sign in front - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 15285 Accession# R0
Costus chartaceus at National Botanic Garden, Washington DC, note incorrect sign in front


Costus chartaceus at Smithsonian US Bot. Research Greenhouse, Washington, DC - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 15292 Accession# R0
Costus chartaceus at Smithsonian US Bot. Research Greenhouse, Washington, DC


Costus chartaceus at Smithsonian US Bot. Research Greenhouse, Washington, DC - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 15293 Accession# R0
Costus chartaceus at Smithsonian US Bot. Research Greenhouse, Washington, DC


Costus chartaceus at Smithsonian US Bot. Research Greenhouse, Washington, DC - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 15294 Accession# R0
Costus chartaceus at Smithsonian US Bot. Research Greenhouse, Washington, DC


Costus chartaceus - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 15274 Accession# R2708
Costus chartaceus


Costus chartaceus - bracts - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 15275 Accession# R2708
Costus chartaceus - bracts


Costus chartaceus - bracteole and calyx - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 15276 Accession# R2708
Costus chartaceus - bracteole and calyx


Costus chartaceus - corolla lobes - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 15277 Accession# R2708
Costus chartaceus - corolla lobes


Costus chartaceus - stamen - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 15278 Accession# R2708
Costus chartaceus - stamen


Costus chartaceus - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 15279 Accession# R2708
Costus chartaceus


Costus chartaceus - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 15280 Accession# R2708
Costus chartaceus


Costus chartaceus - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 15281 Accession# R2708
Costus chartaceus


Costus chartaceus - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 15282 Accession# R2708
Costus chartaceus


Costus chartaceus - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 15283 Accession# R2708
Costus chartaceus


Costus chartaceus  voucher photo - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 17835 Accession# R2708
Costus chartaceus voucher photo


Costus chartaceus at Reserva Rio Guaycuyacu, Ecuador - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 15286 Accession# R3053
Costus chartaceus at Reserva Rio Guaycuyacu, Ecuador


Costus chartaceus at Reserva Rio Guaycuyacu, Ecuador - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 15287 Accession# R3053
Costus chartaceus at Reserva Rio Guaycuyacu, Ecuador


Costus chartaceus at Reserva Rio Guaycuyacu, Ecuador - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 15288 Accession# R3053
Costus chartaceus at Reserva Rio Guaycuyacu, Ecuador


Costus chartaceus at Reserva Rio Guaycuyacu, Ecuador - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 15289 Accession# R3053
Costus chartaceus at Reserva Rio Guaycuyacu, Ecuador


Costus chartaceus at Reserva Rio Guaycuyacu, Ecuador - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 15290 Accession# R3053
Costus chartaceus at Reserva Rio Guaycuyacu, Ecuador


Costus chartaceus at Reserva Rio Guaycuyacu, Ecuador - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 15291 Accession# R3053
Costus chartaceus at Reserva Rio Guaycuyacu, Ecuador


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 #R2708 . (opens in new window).
BUY THIS PLANT from Gingers R Us (opens in new window).

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


BOTANICAL NOTES:
This is an accepted neo-tropical Costus species described by Paul Maas in 1972 as a new species. I have not seen it in habitat - only the cultivated plants. Maas describes the species as having chartaceus (papery) bracts (instead of the more common coriaceous (leathery) bracts). It is also characterized by having strongly prominent veins on both sides of the leaves. The reported distribution in Maas' monograph is southwestern Colombia, the type being from Putumayo, but GBIF includes collections from Colombia, Amazonas and Ecuador, Napo and Pastaza - also det'd by Maas.

The plant in the photos shown here is common in cultivation and has been identified as C. chartaceus but not verified. It is consistent with the photos from Lyon Arboretum of a plant from Alan Carle (Lyon #2003.0181) which is listed as being C. chartaceus, no origin locality given. The sizes of the bracts, bracteoles, calyx, corolla, stamen and labellum of this cultivated plant are consistent with Maas' description, and it also has prominent veins on the leaves as described by Maas.

Holotype: collected (in 1942?) by the famous R. E. Schultes (#3540) in Colombia, Putumayo, Rio San Miguel o Sucumbios, Conejo y los alredadores, en fruente de la Quebrada Conejo, 300 m.

There is a photo of this species on the PDF file at http://fm2.fieldmuseum.org/plantguides/guide_pdfs/316%20COSTACEAE%20Colombia-06.pdf that is identified there as Costus chartaceus. It has yellow tubular flowers and does not resemble the plant that is common in cultivation.

ACCESSION NOTES:
R2708 is the cultivated plant commonly sold in US horticulture. It was tested for winter hardiness by Tom Wood near Gainesville, Florida - zone 8b-9, did not survive. This collection has been vouchered at the UC Berkeley, Jepsen Herbarium, UC2045808.

GINGERSRUS CATALOG LISTING:
Costus chartaceus flower Costus chartaceus is a cute little spiral ginger with a bright red bracts and pink and red flowers. It is sometimes called the "Christmas Costus" for its showy red and green colors. The leaves are medium to dark green, the stems are thin but upright. The plant grows to a mature height of about 2 1/2 to 3 feet and makes a beautiful display in the garden.

Costus chartaceus has been tested for hardiness in zones 8B and 9A without success, so I would only consider it reliably hardy in zone 10. However, since it grows to no taller than 3 feet, making it an ideal pot plant for greenhouse growing or a heated sun porch for colder areas. It is easy to start from cuttings, and will bloom from cuttings in a single year.

Plant Costus chartaceus in rich, organic, well draining soil kept moist during active growth. All Costus will grow better in humid conditions, as they are rain forest plants in nature. This Costus seems to prefer at least partial sun, but I have not tested it in either full sun or full shade.


Costus chartaceus

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