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

Gingersrus Database Taxon ID 7569

Costus aff. pulverulentus 'Mongrel'

OLD NAME: Costus aff. pulverulentus 'Mongrel'

NEW NAME: Costus aff. pulverulentus 'Mongrel'

NAME CHANGE NOTES: Possible sp. nov. or hybrid of C. pulverulentus with C. scaber


STATUS : registered cultivar

CONTINENT: Neotropical

FIELD OBSERVATIONS:(If field observations are available, you can click on the link to open in a new window.)

PHOTOS:(If photos are available, you can click on the link to open in a new window.)


This plant form was first found in Panama, Bocas del Toro, near the Rio Teribe at Bonyic in 2008. It was not in flower but the old inflorescence had a fusiform shape and the bract margins were fibrous indicating C. pulverulentus. The leaves were broad and slightly plicate which is unusual for the species, so seeds were collected. When the seedlings matured and the plant came to flower, the flowers were not C. pulverulentus but more like C. scaber flowers. It was thus believed to be a natural hybrid of C. pulverulentus with C. scaber, although no plant of C. scaber were found in the immediate area.

I gave it a cultivar name of Costus 'Mongrel' to reflect its possible mixed parentage, and not especially attractive look. A thumbnail page showing photos of this plant can be found at

Another collection in 2008 was in the hills above Rio Bonyic, just a few kilometers from the Rio Teribe site. It is nearly identical to that plant, with fibrous bract margins but a flower like C. scaber. Then in 2019 I returned to Bocas del Toro at another site and found yet a third plant with the same form. Now that it is documented from these three different sites, it is more likely to be an undescribed species than a natural hybrid. It is very similar to the plants in Mexico that have a Costus pulverulentus inflorescence shape, but with Costus scaber type flowers and possibly it is the same species as this Mexican form. Much more research is needed to make a certain determination.

This accession is growing at NTBG and was seen in flower in August 2022, but is not widely distributed.

ACCESSIONS:Click links (if any) to see details of individual collections. R3157- R3160-

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Photos (if available) of Taxon ID 7569