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Datasheet for Costus cordatus

Plant Datasheet for Costus cordatus

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Photo# 15103 Specimen# R0
Costus cordatus from Colombia, El Valle area, photo by Carla Black

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Photo# 15104 Specimen# R0
Costus cordatus from Colombia, El Valle area, photo by Carla Black

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Photo# 15105 Specimen# R0
Costus cordatus from Colombia, El Valle area, photo by Carla Black

CLICK HERE for a detailed botanical description and identification key for this species (opens in new window).

BOTANICAL NAME: Costus cordatus
FORMAL SCIENTIFIC NAME: Costus cordatus Maas
STATUS :Accepted
CONTINENT: Neotropical

This is an accepted neo-tropical Costus species described by Paul Maas in 1976. The basic description is of a terminal flowering plant with dark red un-appendaged bracts and yellow tubular flowers, making it very similar to several other species. He places it closest to C. plicatus and C. nitidus, but distinguished by its location in Colombia and a cordate leaf base (origin of the name), leaves densely sericeous (soft, appressed hairs) on the lower side along costa, veins and margins, and calyx 10-13 mm long. He also describes the bracts as having a 90 degree angle at the apex.

The holotype was collected by him along with Tim Plowman in 1965, location was along the new Cali-Buenaventura Road at km 85 in a locality known as Ël Boqueron. However this El Boqueron should not be confused with another location, also called Boqueron at higher altitude in the Valle de Cauca. This is a LOW ELEVATION plant. "Dept. El Valle refers to the current Valle de Cauca" The elevation reported for this type collection was at 150 meters. The location is believed to be near the present-named community of Zaragosa or Bodega, near 3 52 N, 76 51 W. Maas reported other collections that may be the same species as follows:

Andagoya, Chocó (this town is in the interior of the Chocó on the Rio Condoto at about 25 meters.)

mouth of Rio Daguia, 45-50 km from Buenaventura (location is Rio Dagua which follows the new road)

Old road Cali-Buenaventura, km 29 at 25 meters elevation (old road is the one to the south, this is probably at Aqua Clara).

The Plowman/Maas collection photograph is at MoBot, MO-1456273. There is a 1990 Tom Croat collection at MoBot, MO-1456274 from 03°42'N 077°51'W, 270 meters, along old Buenaventura-Cali Road, 14 km SE of Río Sabaletas, 53 km ESE of Queremal; steep road banks.

I have not seen this species in habitat, but in 2011 my friends Carla Black and Bruce Dunstan were on a scouting trip for the 2012 Heliconia Society post conference tour and sent me the photos on this page, believed to be C. cordatus.

R3223 seeds collected by Carla Black, did not germinate

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