PLANT FAMILY: Costaceae
BOTANICAL NAME: Costus kuntzei
FORMAL SCIENTIFIC NAME: Costus kuntzei Schumannn
SYNONYMS: Costus giganteus Kuntze (1891) 687, non Welw. ex Ridley (1887), Costus splendens Donn.Smith & Von Tuerckheim (1902), Costus skutchii C.V.Morton (1937),
This is a Central American form of Costus laevis, placed in synonymy with C. laevis by Paul Maas in 1972. It was originally described in 1891 by O. Kuntz as Costus giganteus from a plant he collected in Costa Rica, Puerto Limon, Baguar in 1874. Schumann renamed it as C. kuntzei in 1893 because there was a different African plant already named as C. giganteus in 1887.
In 2016 I tracked down the type localities of neotropical Costaceae. I determined that the general coordinates are 10Â°, -83.2Â°. Baguar - Possibly a corruption of "Pacuare" - is in the city of LimÃ³n, but Kuntz does not seem to be giving a specific locality. I have photographed and collected a "gigantic" form of Costus laevis near the town of Shiroles farther south in Caribbean coastal Costa Rica, so I wonder if that is the form he collected and described. In July 2016 I also visited the type locality of Costus maximus - another species that has been placed by Maas into synonymy with C. laevis. See alsoPID 6126 andPID 3601.