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Datasheet for Costus mosaicus

Plant Datasheet for Costus mosaicus

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Costus mosaicus - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 11316 Accession# R2012
Costus mosaicus


Costus mosaicus - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 11317 Accession# R2012
Costus mosaicus


Costus mosaicus - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 11318 Accession# R2012
Costus mosaicus


Costus mosaicus - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 11319 Accession# R2012
Costus mosaicus


Costus mosaicus  flower - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 11320 Accession# R2012
Costus mosaicus flower


Costus mosaicus  corolla - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 11321 Accession# R2012
Costus mosaicus corolla


Costus mosaicus  corolla - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 11322 Accession# R2012
Costus mosaicus corolla


Costus mosaicus  stamen - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 11323 Accession# R2012
Costus mosaicus stamen


Costus mosaicus  stamen - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 11324 Accession# R2012
Costus mosaicus stamen


Costus mosaicus  anther crest - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 11325 Accession# R2012
Costus mosaicus anther crest


Costus mosaicus  labellum - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 11326 Accession# R2012
Costus mosaicus labellum


Costus mosaicus - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 11327 Accession# R2012
Costus mosaicus


Costus mosaicus  bracts - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 11328 Accession# R2012
Costus mosaicus bracts


Costus mosaicus  bracteole and calyx - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 11329 Accession# R2012
Costus mosaicus bracteole and calyx


Costus mosaicus  calyx - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 11330 Accession# R2012
Costus mosaicus calyx


Costus mosaicus  basal inflo. - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 11331 Accession# R2012
Costus mosaicus basal inflo.


Costus mosaicus - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 11332 Accession# R2012
Costus mosaicus


Costus mosaicus - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 11333 Accession# R2012
Costus mosaicus


Costus mosaicus - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 11334 Accession# R2012
Costus mosaicus


Costus mosaicus at Mercer Arboretum, Houston, TX leaf detail - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 11335 Accession# R2012
Costus mosaicus at Mercer Arboretum, Houston, TX leaf detail


Costus mosaicus at Mercer Arboretum, Houston, TX ligules - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 11336 Accession# R2012
Costus mosaicus at Mercer Arboretum, Houston, TX ligules


Costus mosaicus by Ray Lampert at Kew Gardens, London - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 11337 Accession# R2012
Costus mosaicus by Ray Lampert at Kew Gardens, London


Costus mosaicus by Ray Lampert at Kew Gardens, London - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 11338 Accession# R2012
Costus mosaicus by Ray Lampert at Kew Gardens, London


Costus mosaicus at US Bot. Garden Conservatory, Washington, DC Tagged here as Costus verschaffeltianus - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 11339 Accession# R2012
Costus mosaicus at US Bot. Garden Conservatory, Washington, DC Tagged here as Costus verschaffeltianus


Costus mosaicus  at US Botanical Garden, Washington  - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 12422 Accession# R2012
Costus mosaicus at US Botanical Garden, Washington


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 #R2012 . (opens in new window).
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PLANT FAMILY: Costaceae
BOTANICAL NAME: Costus mosaicus
FORMAL SCIENTIFIC NAME:
STATUS :unknown
CONTINENT: African
SYNONYMS:
Costus verschaffeltianus, Costus verschaffeltii, Costus ligularis,

BOTANICAL NOTES:
This African species is listed as an "insufficiently known name" in Paul Maas' monograph on African Costaceae, published on 16 December 2016. (Monograph of African Costaceae, H. Maas-van de Kamer, P.J.M. Maas, J.J. Wieringa, C.D. Specht, Blumea 61, 2016: 280 - 318, http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/nhn/blumea/2016/00000061/00000003/art00010)

This was believed to be a valid African species of Costus, but has sometimes been referred to as Costus ligularis. In 2013 I noticed that Dr. Maas had mentioned this plant as C. ligularis in his description of C. loangensis. I emailed Dr. Chelsea Specht to determine whether the correct species name for this plant had been determined. She explained that it is a highly variable species in the wild and that the living collections have the "mosaicus" form but recent collections are not as hirsute or silvery. She said that they are going with ligularis which has precedence. Until the monograph on African Costus was published, I had transferred this name in my database to call it "forma mosaicus" to distinguish it from other forms of the species Costus ligularis. I now revert back to the species name Costus mosaicus, as insufficiently known.

The African Plant Database still lists this species as accepted, but with uncertain status. Indicated as "imported from Congo. No specimen known. Taxonomic status uncertain.
From: "Ray Lampert" - Just a quick note re Costus mosaicus; I've searched a couple of databases and there are no recent references to this species, however it is listed in "Index Kewensis" as being described in 1887 and coming from the Congo. (NOTE: Picture from Kew Gardens matches specimen at Mercer Aboretum tagged as Costus verschaffeltii.)

From: Brian Middleditch in 2001 - Costus mosaicus is the correct name. I checked the actual entry in the William Bull & Sons 1887 catalog - the first publication of the name of this species. I, too, have seen it spelled "musaicus," but that is an error. Described by "Bull" in 1887 on page 10 of a publication called "Cat." I found this species and reference in the First Supplement (1906) to the Index Kewensis, page 112. Based on the publication date I guessed that the author was William Bull (1828-1902), and that he had reported this new species in a catalog. IPNI contains the full, but still cryptic, Index Kewensis entry. The author is, indeed, William Bull and the publication is listed as "Catal." more or less confirming my suspicions that it is a catalog listing. The original source is given as the Congo. If my memory is correct this used to be the Belgian Congo, then became Zaire. The other Congo used to be French Equatorial Africa. The River Congo (or Zaire) flows between the two countries.

ACCESSION NOTES:
R2012 received from Linda Gay at Mercer Arboretum. This collection has been vouchered at the UC Berkeley, Jepsen Herbarium, UC2045786.

GINGERSRUS CATALOG LISTING:
Costus mosaicus - leaf pattern This plant is very rarely found in the US horicultural trade, and then only under the incorrect name Costus verschaffeltii. There is also some confusion with another accepted species name - Costus ligulatus. It is an African Costus, coming from the Belgium Congo (Zaire) and other parts of east central Africa.

Why no one has marketed this plant more, I have no idea, because it is one of the most beautiful of the Costus gingers. It has a beautiful shimmeriing mosaic pattern to the leaves that makes it an attractive garden or pot plant even when it is not blooming. It blooms in the spring with BOTH basal and terminal inflorescenses, delicate lavendar pink trumpet-shaped flowers.

This is a short to medium ginger, growing slowly to a height of about 2-3 feet in my garden in bright shade or a little filtered sunlight. I am not sure about its hardiness; I lost my first specimen to winter rotting of the rhizome. I have not fully tested it outdoors, but am guessing it is no hardier than zone 9B. I recommend growing it in a pot over winter if you live in an area with freezing temperatures. Its compact size makes that quite practical. It should be grown in moist, fertile, organic soil.


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