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

Gingersrus Database Taxon ID 7471

Costus callosus


OLD NAME: Costus sp. nov.

NEW NAME: Costus callosus

NAME CHANGE NOTES: New species published March 22, 2023 in PhytoKeys 222: 75-127, similar to basal flowering C. curvibracteatus.

FULL SCIENTIFIC NAME: Costus callosus Maas & H.Maas

STATUS : sp. nov.

CONTINENT: Neotropical

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FIELD OBSERVATIONS

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SYNONYMS:


BOTANICAL NOTES:
Costus callosus was published March 22, 2023 in PhytoKeys 222: 75-127 by Paul and Hiltje Maas. Maas had recognized this species as far back as 1977 when he noted under his description of Costus curvibracteatus that there were two closely related specimens from Panama with separate flowering shoots that might represent a distinct variety. I first saw this species in 2008 at the Willie Mazu site in Bocas del Toro, Panama. This form was also in cultivation at Lyon Arboretum in Hawaii from a collection by Mark Collins (and Alan Carle?) from Costa Rica. In 2019 I returned with Carla Black to the Willie Mazu site where I took detailed photos and measurements to assist Dr. Maas in completing his description of this new species.

It is described as being most similar to C. curvibracteatus, differing in the inflorescence produced on a separate leafless shoot with soon withering sheaths and bracts with a very long callus. The long callus is the feature from which the name Costus callosus is derived. For his type specimen, Dr. Maas selected a collection from the Chocó of Colombia, Forero et. al. 6668.

The inflorescence is quite showy with bright orange, red and yellow bracts that are flared out very much like its cousin, C. curvibracteatus; and the flowers are rather insignicant, small and tubular, mostly hidden by the bracts. At the Willie Mazu site, this species has populated a large area along a small stream and seems to prefer wet conditions with continual running water. It is not known whether the plants were native at that site or brought in and cultivated there, but as of 2019 this species was still there despite the lodge there being abandoned. In 2008 Carla Black and I searched the surrounding area but did not find this species anywhere outside the immediate vicinity of the lodge.

The molecular phylogeny includes samples from the Willie Mazu plant, the plant from Lyon Aboretum, and a Dressler collection in Panama from 1972. This new species is shown to be in a separate clade close to C. curvibracteatus.

HORTICULTURAL NOTES:
This new species has been in limited cultivation for many years. As noted above, the Costa Rican collection has been at Lyon Arboretum and the Willie Mazu plant quite possibly was cultivated there. I have had accessions from both these sources and have found this species to be very difficult to grow - at least as a container plant here in Tallahassee with our cold winters and hot summers. I have never been able to get it to flower in my garden and each year the plant barely hangs on.

The Colombian collection from the Chocó is also in cultivation at Reserva Natural Nirvana in Colombia and Dr. Maas found it in flower there in 2018 when he visited. The Willie Mazu collection has at times been offered for sale by Colton Collins at Plant Group Hawaii.

ACCESSIONS:Click links (if any) to see details of individual collections. R3095- R3147- R3148- R3178- R3227- R3445- R3493- R3565-


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Photos (if available) of Taxon ID 7471
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Costus callosus, photo from Mass, M10688 DSC_0246.jpg - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 172 Accession# R0
Costus callosus, photo from Mass, M10688 DSC_0246.jpg


Costus callosus, photo from Mass, M10688 DSC_0247.jpg - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 173 Accession# R0
Costus callosus, photo from Mass, M10688 DSC_0247.jpg


Costus callosus, photo from Mass, M10688 DSC_0248.jpg - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 174 Accession# R0
Costus callosus, photo from Mass, M10688 DSC_0248.jpg


Costus callosus type specimen - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 467 Accession# R0
Costus callosus type specimen


Costus callosus type specimen - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 468 Accession# R0
Costus callosus type specimen


Costus callosus type specimen - Click to see full sized image
Photo# 469 Accession# R0
Costus callosus type specimen