GingersRus is a trademark of Le Jardin Ombragé
Click on logo above to go to GingersRus HOMEPAGE.
Datasheet for Costus laevis aff. laevis 'El Gato'

Plant Datasheet for Costus laevis aff. laevis 'El Gato'


Click on a thumbnail to load full sized image.
Use your "back" button to come back to this page.

Click to see full sized image
Photo# 15591 Specimen# R0
Costus aff. 'El Gato' - photo from Peru, Andes to Amazon Project


Click to see full sized image
Photo# 15592 Specimen# R0
Costus aff. 'El Gato' - seen along El Oso Road in southeastern Ecuadoer


Click to see full sized image
Photo# 15593 Specimen# R0
Costus aff. 'El Gato' - seen along El Oso Road in southeastern Ecuadoer


Click to see full sized image
Photo# 15594 Specimen# R0
Costus aff. 'El Gato' from Manu Learning Center, Peru


Click to see full sized image
Photo# 15595 Specimen# R0
Costus aff. 'El Gato' from Manu Learning Center, Peru. Some of the plants, especially the younger ones have distinctive red undersides to the leaves, petiole and ligule.


Click to see full sized image
Photo# 15596 Specimen# R0
Costus aff. 'El Gato' from Manu Learning Center, Peru. Stamen of a pink flowering plant.


Click to see full sized image
Photo# 15597 Specimen# R0
Costus aff. 'El Gato' from Manu Learning Center, Peru. Pink flowering plant.


Click to see full sized image
Photo# 15598 Specimen# R0
Costus aff. 'El Gato' from Manu Learning Center, Peru. Pink flowering plant.


Click to see full sized image
Photo# 15599 Specimen# R0
Costus aff. 'El Gato' from Manu Learning Center, Peru. Pink flowering plant.


Click to see full sized image
Photo# 15600 Specimen# R0
Costus aff. 'El Gato' from Manu Learning Center, Peru. Pink flowering plant.


Click to see full sized image
Photo# 15601 Specimen# R0
Costus aff. 'El Gato' - Manu plant from Pantiacolla with pendent inflorescence. Looking nearly identical to the plant first found at Gualaquiza, Ecuador.


Click to see full sized image
Photo# 15602 Specimen# R0
Costus aff. 'El Gato' - Manu plant from Pantiacolla with pendent inflorescence


Click to see full sized image
Photo# 15603 Specimen# R0
Costus aff. 'El Gato' - Manu plant from Pantiacolla with pendent inflorescence


Click to see full sized image
Photo# 15604 Specimen# R0
Costus aff. 'El Gato' - Manu plant from Pantiacolla with flower mostly white


Click to see full sized image
Photo# 15605 Specimen# R0
Costus aff. 'El Gato' - Manu plant from Pantiacolla with basal inflorescence. I only saw a few plants that flowered at the base.


Click to see full sized image
Photo# 15606 Specimen# R0
Costus aff. 'El Gato' - Manu plant from Pantiacolla with basal inflorescence


Click to see full sized image
Photo# 15607 Specimen# R0
Costus aff. 'El Gato' - Manu plant from Pantiacolla. Most plants had white labellums but a few like this one had pink or red labellums.


Click to see full sized image
Photo# 15608 Specimen# R0
Costus aff. 'El Gato' - Manu plant from Pantiacolla. Pink form.


Click to see full sized image
Photo# 15609 Specimen# R0
Costus aff. 'El Gato' - Manu plant from Pantiacolla. Here also, some of the plants had the distinctive purple ligules, others were green.


Click to see full sized image
Photo# 15610 Specimen# R0
Costus aff. 'El Gato' - Manu plant from Pantiacolla. Plant with purple ligule, petiole and leaf undersides.


Click to see full sized image
Photo# 15611 Specimen# R0
Costus aff. 'El Gato' - cultivated by Jim West at Reserva Rio Guaycuyacu in Ecuador. Origin unknown.


Click to see full sized image
Photo# 15612 Specimen# R0
Costus aff. 'El Gato' - cultivated by Jim West at Reserva Rio Guaycuyacu in Ecuador. Origin unknown.


Click to see full sized image
Photo# 15613 Specimen# R0
Costus aff. 'El Gato' - cultivated by Jim West at Reserva Rio Guaycuyacu in Ecuador. Origin unknown.


Click to see full sized image
Photo# 15614 Specimen# R0
Costus aff. 'El Gato' - cultivated by Jim West at Reserva Rio Guaycuyacu in Ecuador. Origin unknown.


Click to see full sized image
Photo# 15615 Specimen# R0
Costus aff. 'El Gato' - cultivated by Jim West at Reserva Rio Guaycuyacu in Ecuador. Origin unknown.


Click to see full sized image
Photo# 15616 Specimen# R0
Costus aff. 'El Gato' - cultivated by Jim West at Reserva Rio Guaycuyacu in Ecuador. Origin unknown.


Click to see full sized image
Photo# 15617 Specimen# R0
Costus aff. 'El Gato' - cultivated by Jim West at Reserva Rio Guaycuyacu in Ecuador. Note characteristing red spots on sheath.


Click to see full sized image
Photo# 15618 Specimen# R0
Costus aff. 'El Gato' - Cultivar Registry photo at www.heliconia.org. These photos are from the Gualaquiza Ecuador plant found in 2007.


Click to see full sized image
Photo# 15619 Specimen# R0
Costus 'El Gato' - showing the wide geographic range of this undescribed species.



PLANT FAMILY: Costaceae
BOTANICAL NAME: Costus laevis aff. laevis 'El Gato'
FORMAL SCIENTIFIC NAME:
STATUS :
CONTINENT: Neotropical
SYNONYMS:


BOTANICAL NOTES:
I first saw this form in 2007 in southeastern Ecuador near the town of Gualaquiza. It was on the property of a young man who was known in town as 'El Gato' because of his green eyes - something unusual for inhabitants of that area. I had no real idea what it was at first but I eventually registered it with the cultivar name of 'El Gato'. It is characterized by its pendent inflorescence, non-appendaged bracts and open labellum flower that is mostly white in color.

Cultivar Description (from Registry): The primary distinguishing character is the pendent inflorescence, otherwise found only in Costus bracteatus in Central America. Bracts are dark red, non-appendaged, and without fibrous margins. The bracts are distinctively concave in shape forming a cone somewhat similar to Costus scaber, but the flower has a broad, open labellum, mostly white, with a yellow throat and variable amounts of pink color on the labellum wings. The labellum wings are usually parallel to each other giving a flattened appearance to the flower. There are also noticable spots on the stems, most pronounced on the lower part of the stems.

Cultivar Registry Photo at http://www.gingersrus.com/Registry/Costus_ElGato.jpg

Since that 2007 visit to Ecuador, I have seen many other similar looking plants from the same region in Ecuador and also from Colombia and southern Peru. It fits best among currently described species as Costus laevis, but may well be a new and undescribed species.

ACCESSION NOTES:
The following accessions/photos are now attributed to this plant form I am calling Costus 'El Gato'.

  • R2949 from Jerry Seymore in Houston Texas, origin unknown. Cultivar called 'Jungle Jerry'. This collection has been vouchered at the UC Berkeley, Jepsen Herbarium, UC2045833.

  • R3006, No. 74505 at the National Tropical Botanical Garden, origin Cajamarca, Tolima, Colombia.

  • R3060, growing at Reserva Rio Guaycuya, Ecuador, origin unknown

  • R3079 was collected near Gualaquiza, Ecuador. This collection has been vouchered at the UC Berkeley, Jepsen Herbarium, UC2045799.

  • R3080 from Mision Bomboiza, Ecuador

  • Other areas in Zamora-Chinchipe province of southeastern Ecuador. Its range extends all along the Rio Zamora valley and also to points west along the Rio Yacuambi and the El Osa Road west of Yantaza and El Pangui. http://www.gingersrus.com/images/P7509

  • R3260 at Manu Learning Centre, southern Peru and at Pantiacolla, southern Peru (http://www.gingersrus.com/images/R3260)

    OBSERVATION NOTES:

    Finca of Hugo, north of Gualaquiza, Ecuador, Latitude -3.396, Longitude -78.566, at 1075 meters elevation.

    Misión Bomboiza, Morona-Santiago Province, Ecuador, Latitude -3.45, Longitude -78.55, at 800 meters elevation.

    Near Rio Yacuambi along road from Zamora, Ecuador, Latitude -3.92062, Longitude -78.84708, at 900 meters elevation.

    Manu Learning Centre, Manú Province, Peru, Latitude -12.78922, Longitude -71.39172, at 480 meters elevation.

    Pantiacolla, Manú Province, Peru, Latitude -12.65, Longitude -71.24, at 500 meters elevation.

    GINGERSRUS CATALOG LISTING:
    Okay Costus fans, this one really has me mystified. I first collected this species in 2007 at a small private botanical reserve owned by a very eccentric young man the locals call "El Gato" because of his green eyes, unusual for the indo-hispanic residents of the area. It's a long story, but if you are interested and if you can read Spanish find my story of about this plant exploration trip on my website at http://www.gingersrus.com/espanol/HuidaDesdeGualaquiza. .

    Okay, back to the plant. I found a plant as shown below at "El Gato's" place and also at a Salesian Mission at the nearby village of Bomboiza. I think the closest match is the species Costus amazonicus, but Dr. Paul Maas has reviewed the photos and said it is not C. amazonicus. I thought it might be just a one-time occurance, perhaps a hybrid, until January 2013 when I found identical plants growing 1000 miles to the south in southern Peru!

    So…. I am not really sure, but it may be a new and undescribed species, and for now I am calling it Costus 'El Gato'. It is is a real beauty, with an arching form and pendent inflorescence, large white flowers with variable amount of red or pink markings on the labellum. The bracts are dark red making a nice contrast.

    Shown here is the variation in flower colors I have seen on this plant both in Ecuador and in Peru as well as in my own seed-grown plants.



  • Copyright © 1999-2016 - Dave Skinner, GingersRus.com
    All text and images on this page are copyrighted. They may be downloaded and/or printed for personal use and scientific research, but may not be published in paper or electronic media without my express consent. They absolutely may not be used commercially in any way whatsoever without my express consent. To inquire about permissions, contact skinnerd@nettally.com