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

Gingersrus Database Taxon ID 7424

Costus scaber

OLD NAME: Costus scaber - Osa thin stem form

NEW NAME: Costus scaber

NAME CHANGE NOTES: form found on Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica with thin stems in a tight spiral


STATUS : distinct form

CONTINENT: Neotropical

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

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


This page is for photos of a thin stemmed form of Costus scaber that I have seen on the Osa Peninsula of Costa Rica. The main webpage for the species Costus scaber is at PID 3607

During trips to Costa Rica I have seen a plant several places that I believe to be yet another form of Costus scaber or an undescribed new species. It is usually found on ridges along trails and is vegetatively distinctive by having very thin stems and a tight spiraling form, much shorter than other forms I have seen of C. scaber, usually 1 meter tall or less. The ligules are long and deeply lobed and the petioles are long and often twisted. The apex to the leaves are very long acuminate and twisted somewhat like Costus wilsonii. The inflorescences are red and somewhat more fusiform (pointed apex) than the normal Costus scaber forms I have seen. I have not seen enough of the flowers to clearly describe them, but they are generally consistent with C. scaber.

It has been seen at the following places: The fila trail in Parque Nacional Piedras Blancas near La Gamba, the trail to the top of La Cangreja, the trail to the top of Cerro Nara near Quepos, several ridge trails near Rancho Quemado and in the Los Planes area near Drake.

In my 2013 trip to Costa Rica in the Drake area of the Osa Peninsula this plant (or something very similar) was found to be fairly common in the Los Planes area. It had a standard looking Costus scaber flower but sometimes flowering on a separate, nearly leafless stem instead of terminal on the main leafy stem.

R3297 - from Costa Rica, Osa Peninsula near Los Planes at 150 meters.

ACCESSIONS:Click links (if any) to see details of individual collections. R3297-

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Photos (if available) of Taxon ID 7424