PLANT FAMILY: Costaceae
BOTANICAL NAME: Costus claviger (aff. claviger)
FORMAL SCIENTIFIC NAME:
SEEPID#4047 FOR A GENERAL DISCUSSION OF COSTUS CLAVIGER. THIS PAGE IF FOR THE "C. AFF. CLAVIGER" TERMINAL FLOWERING TYPES AS MENTIONED BY MAAS IN HIS 1977 MONOGRAPH.
In 1977 Paul Maas described a "Costus aff. claviger" from Colombia, Peru and Brazil with terminal inflorescence and red bracts with green appendages. It is distinguished from other similar species by having a short, truncate ligule (2-5 mm long), short leaf petiole (2-3 mm long), leaves 4-6.5 cm wide by 15-25 cm long. The bracts are described as red with green appendages, and the nectar callus "absent or obsolete to 5 mm". The small bract appendages can be either reflexed or ascending, ovate-triangular in shape, 1-1.5 cm wide by 2.5-3 cm long. The bracteoles are 20-24 mm long, calyx 12-16 mm long and 6-8 mm wide. There were few specimens examined by Maas and placed in this group, mostly from RondÃ³nia, Brazil.
I have seen several of the terminal flowering forms pictured on the internet and in botanical gardens in Hawaii, originating from Peru that have been tagged as Costus claviger. I have also seen many plants in the field in southern Ecuador and Peru that seem to fit into this group. It is possible that some of these plants are confused with Costus guanaiensis var. tarmicus, which was originally described from a plant collected near La Merced, in Dept. Junin in Peru. The description of var. tarmicus does not provide much detail to distinguish it other than the indument (or lack thereof) on the leaves. I have planned a trip to La Merced to see exactly what the type of C. guanaiensis var. tarmicus (formerly Costus tarmicus) looks like in order to properly segregate these plants from that variety.
The other forms that I previously had listed as "Costus aff. claviger" I am transfering toPID7605.