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

Gingersrus Database Taxon ID 7391

Costus giganteus

OLD NAME: Costus giganteus

NEW NAME: Costus giganteus


FULL SCIENTIFIC NAME: Costus giganteus Welw. ex Ridl.

STATUS : accepted


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This African species is recognized 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,

Costus giganteus is assessed as Least Concern. The species has a restricted distribution range, as it occurs on Săo Tome (Democratic Republic of Săo Tome and Príncipe) and Annobon (Equatorial Guinea) Islands, but it is always recorded as very common in the wet mountains areas on the islands. On the basis of the present knowledge the threats are not significant enough to warrant a threatened category. Due to the limited distribution range the species should be monitored over a longer period of time to make sure that it doesn't fall into a threatened category, if the threats on the islands increase.

The African Plant Database lists this species, Known from Săo Tome, Príncipe.

There was also a neotropical Costus giganteus described by O. Kuntz in 1891, but renamed to Costus kuntzei by Schumann in 1893. SeePID#6111 to read more details under Costus kuntzei.

This African species has a distinct flower structure, flowering on separate, leafless shoots, and having red unappendaged bracts with yellow flowers in which the stamen protrudes well beyond the labellum, totally exposing the thecae. That same form is found on several new world species that according to the molecular phylogeny are some of the earliest evolving species of Costus in the new world. It has been hypothesized that an ancestor of Costus giganteus Welw. ex Ridl. may be the ancient ancestor of all Costus species in the Americas.


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Photos (if available) of Taxon ID 7391
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Costus giganteus - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 621 Accession# R0
Costus giganteus