PLANT FAMILY: Costaceae
BOTANICAL NAME: Costus asplundii aff. Nangaritza form
FORMAL SCIENTIFIC NAME:
This plant is very common in southeast Ecuador but only in the watershed of the Rio Nangaritza, Cordillero del Condor area. It grows in open areas all along the roadsides leading to Guayzimi and on up the Rio Nangaritza to the Yankuam Lodge, on the western side of the river. It has virtually colonized that area in disturbed places all along the roadways and in sunny wet areas of open fields. As soon as you go over the ridge to the northwest to the Rio Zamora watershed, it is no longer found. It seems to be a unique form as I have only seen it in the Rio Nangaritza area and not in the Rio Zamora valley past the confluence of these two rivers. My friend Marco Jimenez who lives in Zamora and has been exploring the province of Zamora Chinchipe for over 30 years, told me that he had not seen this plant anywhere else but the Rio Nangaritza area.
It is a tall plant with thick hairs on all vegetative parts, the bracts are green with long green appendages and the flowers are almost entirely white with just a splash of yellow on the labellum. I have visited this area three times - in May 2007, October 2009 and February 2015. Photos from these trips are along the left and I have made a thumbnail sheet of a few photos at
In 2016 based on a comment by Paul Maas, I have now concluded that this plant is more likely a form of the species Costus asplundii. See additional information atPID3595.
R3078 collected in 2007 near Guayzimi, Rio Nangaritza area, seeds germinated but plants did not survive, however some seedlings were distributed to gardens in Puerto Rico and Hawaii, current status not known. R3348 seeds collected in 2015 near Las Orquideas have germinated and a small plant still is alive as of December 2016.