This page contains photos and description of a species, form or cultivar of Costaceae.

Gingersrus Database Taxon ID 4870

Costus asteranthus


OLD NAME: Costus asteranthus

NEW NAME: Costus asteranthus

NAME CHANGE NOTES:

FULL SCIENTIFIC NAME: Costus asteranthus Maas & H.Maas

STATUS : accepted

CONTINENT: Neotropical

FIELD OBSERVATIONS:(If field observations are available, you can click on the link to open in a new window.)
FIELD OBSERVATIONS

PHOTOS:(If photos are available, you can click on the link to open in a new window.)
GOOGLE PHOTO ALBUM

SYNONYMS:


BOTANICAL NOTES:
Costus asteranthus Maas & H. Maas is an accepted neo-tropical Costus species described by Paul and Hiltje Maas from their October 1984 collection, published in Notes from the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh 46(3): 307. 1990. No other collections have been recorded besides this type specimen. Isotypes are at Kew and at NYBG showing the very short ligules and rather unique shape of the leaves. It is a basal flowering species (on separate leafless shoot), characterized by its corolla lobes that fold out from the labellum giving a "star-like" appearance. The flowers are yellow (corolla, labellum, and stamen) and based on the illustration the flowers are tubular with the stamen extending well past the labellum as in Costus stenophyllus. There is an illustration and a photo of the inflorescence.

It has only been found in the type location in a small area of Peru, department Puno, near the village of San Gabán. I traveled there in March, 2018 and was able to find about 5 of the plants over a few kilometers along the highway, but it was not found elsewhere in the region. When I saw it, it was not in flower but could easily be distinguished by the very short ligule and the glaucous coating on the young parts of the plant. One old inflorescence and the shape of the leaves were entirely consistent with the type collection. My collection there has grown well but has not yet flowered in my garden.

I have drafted an assessment for the IUCN Red List and it easily calculates to being Critically Endangered both because of its very limited population and range and also due to landslides and road construction projects that are destroying its habitat.

A leaf tissue sample from my collection has been sent to Cornell for the molecular phylogeny that is being conducted there. In the molecular phylogeny this has been found to be in a separate lineage close to Costus beckii.

HORTICULTURAL NOTES:
Based on information at the Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI) this species is not in ex situ cultivation at any reporting botanical gardens. This species really needs to be collected and conserved as it is quite rare in the wild.

ACCESSIONS:Click links (if any) to see details of individual collections. R3435- R3436-


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Photos (if available) of Taxon ID 4870
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Costus asteranthus, photo from Maas 6086 Peru U0999151 - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 164 Accession# R0
Costus asteranthus, photo from Maas 6086 Peru U0999151


Costus asteranthus type specimen - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 458 Accession# R0
Costus asteranthus type specimen


Costus asteranthus type specimen - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 459 Accession# R0
Costus asteranthus type specimen


Costus asteranthus type specimen - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 460 Accession# R0
Costus asteranthus type specimen


Costus asteranthus, ligules and glaucus coating, photo from Skinner R3435, San Gaban, Puno, Peru - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 165 Accession# R3435
Costus asteranthus, ligules and glaucus coating, photo from Skinner R3435, San Gaban, Puno, Peru