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Datasheet for Costus 'Firebird'

Plant Datasheet for Costus 'Firebird'


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Photo# 15304 Specimen# R2830
Costus 'Firebird'
From cultivated,


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Photo# 15305 Specimen# R2830
Costus 'Firebird'
From cultivated,


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Photo# 15306 Specimen# R2830
Costus 'Firebird'
From cultivated,


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Photo# 15307 Specimen# R2830
Costus 'Firebird'
From cultivated,


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Photo# 15308 Specimen# R2830
Costus 'Firebird'
From cultivated,


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Photo# 15309 Specimen# R2830
Costus 'Firebird'
From cultivated,


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Photo# 15310 Specimen# R2830
Costus 'Firebird'
From cultivated,


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Photo# 15311 Specimen# R2830
Costus 'Firebird'
From cultivated,


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Photo# 15312 Specimen# R2830
Costus 'Firebird'
From cultivated,


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Photo# 15313 Specimen# R2830
Costus 'Firebird'
From cultivated,


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Photo# 15314 Specimen# R2830
Costus 'Firebird'
From cultivated,


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Photo# 15315 Specimen# R2830
Costus 'Firebird'
From cultivated,


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Photo# 15316 Specimen# R2830
Costus 'Firebird'
From cultivated,


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Photo# 15317 Specimen# R2830
Costus 'Firebird'
From cultivated,


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Photo# 15318 Specimen# R2830
Costus 'Firebird'
From cultivated,


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Photo# 15319 Specimen# R2830
Costus 'Firebird'
From cultivated,


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Photo# 15320 Specimen# R2830
Costus 'Firebird'
From cultivated,


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Photo# 15321 Specimen# R2830
Costus 'Firebird'
From cultivated,


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Photo# 15322 Specimen# R2830
Costus 'Firebird'
From cultivated,



PLANT FAMILY: Costaceae
BOTANICAL NAME: Costus 'Firebird'
FORMAL SCIENTIFIC NAME:
STATUS :
CONTINENT: Neotropical
SYNONYMS:


BOTANICAL NOTES:
This plant was originally received in 2003 tagged as Costus comosus, and indeed it has some characters of that species. I received a division of the plant from Linda Gay with Mercer Arboretum in Houston, and she had received it from Tom Wood. It grew well and flowered beautifully, but then declined and for several years I thought I had lost it. I had only one small plant still tagged as such but it looked exactly like Costus osae, so I was uncertain if I might have mixed them up until finally this year I have brought it back to flower and was able to verify that I had it tagged correctly.

I also received some photos recently from a contact at a nursery in South Florida who had once received the same plant from Tom Wood. When I started reviewing my own photos of the flower details I suddenly realized that this plant has the SAME BICARINATE (TWO-KEELED) BRACTEOLE as Costus osae. This character is only recorded in two species of Costus - C. osae and C. ricus. All others have a single keeled bracteole, shaped like a canoe whereas those two species have the two-keeled bracteole more like a flat bottom boat and the bracteole wraps around the calyx.

I contacted Tom Wood to find out the origin of the plant and he told me that his records only show receiving it from Fairchild Gardens, or possibly Flamingo Gardens from David Bar-Zvi (who worked both places).

Based on the bicarinate bracteole and the similarity of the vegetative parts - nearly identical to Costus osae - I have now concluded this is most likely a hybrid of C. osae with C. comosus - both of which have been cultivated in South Florida for many years. I am giving this plant a cultivar name of 'Firebird' for the red and yellow flames of the inflorescence and the wing-like bracts.

Cultivar description: A key character distinguishing this cultivar is the bicarinate bracteole like Costus osae, but with bright yellow instead of reddish flowers. This plant looks almost exactly like Costus osae until it flowers. Stems and leaves are soft and hairy, leaves light green, ligule very short, plant grows to about 1/2 meter tall. The inflorescence is entirely different having characters of Costus comosus with red triangular bracts, only lower bracts with appendages, and with yellow tubular flowers that extend well beyond the bracts.

Cultivar Registry Photo at www.gingersrus.com/Registry/Costus_Firebird.jpg

GINGERSRUS CATALOG LISTING:
Costus 'Firebird' This plant apparently originated in south Florida, and is believed to be a hybrid of Costus osae with (possibly) Costus comosus. It has soft felty leaves and grows to a mature height of less than 3 feet. The flowers are particularly showy, with red bracts having triangular tips pointed upright for form a base for the long tubular yellow flowers. I am giving this plant a cultivar name of 'Firebird' for the red and yellow flames of the inflorescence and the wing-like bracts.


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