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

Gingersrus Database Taxon ID 7541

Costus antioquiensis 'Nirvana'

OLD NAME: Costus 'Nirvana'

NEW NAME: Costus antioquiensis 'Nirvana'

NAME CHANGE NOTES: Probable form of Costus sp. nov. antioquiensis


STATUS : registered cultivar

CONTINENT: Neotropical

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I found this plant growing at the Nirvana Reserve in Colombia and Sergio Botera told me this is the only Costus species growing there that is native in the area. I did not know what species it was but after growing it from some seeds collected there, it soon became one of my favorite collections. I registered it with the cultivar name Costus 'Nirvana', published September 2017, Heliconia Society Bulletin, Vol. 23, No. 3. It is described as follows: Plant grows to 3 meters tall, leaves pubescent on undersides, glabrous on upper sides, ligule lobed to 2 cm long with hairs at margin. Terminal inflorescence, globular in shape with non-appendaged bracts that are distinctively convex in shape. Upper leaves of plant wrap around the inflorescence partially hiding the flowers from view when seen from the sides. Flowers are large and showy, pale yellow with open labellum.

When I showed photos to Paul Maas during my 2017 visit with him in the Netherlands, he said he thought this is a form of his sp. nov. to be named Costus antioquiensis. It does have hairs around the ligule, as described for this new species, but the hairs are not as obvious and are not the stiff hairs of the type specimen for his new species. A partial phylogeny was completed by Eugenio Valderrama and his associates in the Chelsea Specht Lab at Cornell University and was published in the journal Frontiers in Plant Science in September 2022. Some tissue has been sampled for DNA of this collection and was confirmed in a clade with Costus antioquiensis.

Costus aff. antioquienis 'Nirvana'
Costus aff. antioquienis 'Nirvana


ACCESSIONS:Click links (if any) to see details of individual collections. R3236-

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Photos (if available) of Taxon ID 7541