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Datasheet for Costus geothyrsus

Plant Datasheet for Costus geothyrsus

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Costus geothyrsus, from Hacienda Clementina, Ecudor.  Photo by Bertil Stahl - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 15861 Accession# R0
Costus geothyrsus, from Hacienda Clementina, Ecudor. Photo by Bertil Stahl


Costus geothyrsus, from Hacienda Clementina, Ecudor.  Photo by Bertil Stahl - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 15862 Accession# R0
Costus geothyrsus, from Hacienda Clementina, Ecudor. Photo by Bertil Stahl


Costus geothyrsus, from Hacienda Clementina, Ecudor.  Photo by Bertil Stahl - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 15863 Accession# R0
Costus geothyrsus, from Hacienda Clementina, Ecudor. Photo by Bertil Stahl


Costus geothyrsus, from Hacienda Clementina, Ecudor.  Photo by Bertil Stahl - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 15864 Accession# R0
Costus geothyrsus, from Hacienda Clementina, Ecudor. Photo by Bertil Stahl


Costus geothyrsus, from Hacienda Clementina, Ecudor.  Photo by Bertil Stahl - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 15865 Accession# R0
Costus geothyrsus, from Hacienda Clementina, Ecudor. Photo by Bertil Stahl


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

PLANT FAMILY: Costaceae
BOTANICAL NAME: Costus geothyrsus
FORMAL SCIENTIFIC NAME: Costus geothyrsus K.Schum.
STATUS :Accepted
CONTINENT: Neotropical
SYNONYMS:


BOTANICAL NOTES:
This is an accepted neo-tropical Costus species described by Schumann in 1904. It is described as a basal flowering plant with red non-appendaged bracts and reddish tubular flowers. The description of the flowers is questionable in my opinion. Flowers are described as being 13-26 cm (up to nearly 1 ft.) long! With corollas 10 cm, labellum 7 cm and stamen 6.5 cm. Calyx and bracteole are a more normal length from 2-3 cm long. Based on those lengths, the stamen would NOT exceed the labellum, which is a definite character to distiguish it from C. pulverulentus. The illustration in Flora Neotropica does not show a good drawing of the flower. Maas indicates this species is close to Costus pulverulentus but is basal flowering and has larger leaves and flowers. He also indicates the likelihood of intergression between C. geothyrsus and C. pulverulentus.

It is from the western (Pacific side) of Ecuador and is on the red list of endangered species, previously listed as vulnerable, now critically endangered (see below). In 2007 I searched some places where this species had been recorded but I was unable to find it. Most of the Pacific side of Ecuador has been deforested. I had never seen a photo of the flower until I contacted Swedish botanist Bertil Stahl who has been working for many years at the reserve at Hacienda Clementina in southern Ecuador - one of the places where this species is recorded.

Based on these photos, the flower is reddish-orange with very long corolla lobes extending beyond the stamen and labellum. The stamen has a very short anther crest with just a short distance from the thecae to the apex of the stamen, and protruding several mm beyond the yellow labellum, similar to C. pulverulentus. The bract margins are not fibrous (as in C. pulverulentus) and the nectar callus is darker red instead of yellow or green. So the plant is clearly distinguishable from C. pulverulentus and by more than just the basal flowering habit or size of the flowers and leaves.

National Herbarium in Quito Ecuador, I found a specimen determined and collected by Nestor Saltos, collected 2005 in Guayas, Canton Balzar, Parroquia Balzar, at Hacienda Tropibosques S A, km 11 via Balzar-Olmedo at 30 meters. This would place it 11 km west of Balzar, near the community of Guarumito at about 1 22 23.7 S, 79 58 40.5 W

Another specimen collected in 1995 by Efrain Freire in Imabuura, Cotacachi, via Apuela between the rivers Cristopamba and Nagulbf at 1300 meters, 00 22 N, 78 26 W. Another specimen collected 1993 by X. Cornejo in province El Oro, camino to Limon-Playa 20 minutes before Rio Dumari, 500 meters, 3 29 S, 79 45 W. These have not been verified.

In February 2015 I went to the type local near Caluma, Bolívar, Ecuador.
My guide there, Rene Vargas was able to get permission for us to enter one part of the reserve. I did not find this species in flower but I did find one small plant in the reserve that is consistent with the species and a larger plant cultivated at the Hosteria where Dr. Stahl usually stays. More importantly to me, I was able to confirm that this species cannot be found in the other small forest fragments in the region, thus supporting its status as a critically endangered species. My thumbnail of the plants I saw are at
http://www.gingersrus.com/images/R3347

In 2016 I saw an observation record on iNaturalist that appears to me to be Costus geothyrsus. It was posted by "permaculturcaimito" from a photo by Bryan Arturo. The locality: Caimito is a small community belonging to the parish of Quingue, in the province of Esmeraldas in northwest Ecuador. Our community is located in one of the most biodiverse and ecologically privileged places in the world. It is one of the last remnants of Tropical Rainforest (Chocó) on the coast of Ecuador. It is located near the Mache Chindul Ecological Reserve and is part of the Galera-San Francisco Marine Reserve, the first marine reserve established along the continental coast of Ecuador. Posted on iNaturalist at http://www.inaturalist.org/observations/4079841.

ACCESSION NOTES:
R3343 and R3347 from the Hosteria


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