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

Gingersrus Database Taxon ID 7578

Costus 'California Dreaming'

OLD NAME: Costus 'California Dreaming'

NEW NAME: Costus 'California Dreaming'

NAME CHANGE NOTES: Possible hybrid of Costus pictus with Costus bakeri


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 was found near the village of California (so named because of a minor gold rush there), in the state of Chiapas, Mexico. There was a very large clump of this plant found just 100 meters or so back in the forest near the village. A young man who showed us the plants told us that the young shoots are eaten by the villagers. One solitary plant in that large clump was found with green un-appendaged bracts. During my 2014 trip to Chiapas I only saw it at this one locality. There were no fresh flowers seen but the red, appendaged bracts were different from any other Costus I saw in the area. The leaf peioles had the same disinctive purple lines as the red flowering form of Costus pictus that was found at lower altitudes (100-300 meters) in the Tapachula area.

In a molecular phylogeny at Cornell University a sample of this accession was found to be in a clade very close to Costus comosus var. bakeri, which is probably one of the parents of this hybrid. Based on the flower form I believe this is a hybrid of that species with Costus pictus.

A thumbnail sheet with photos of this plant can be found at

CULTIVAR DESCRIPTION: Vegetative parts all glabrous, truncate ligule to 1 cm long. Bracts are a rusty red color in the exposed part with the apex curled outward. There is a green blotch surrounding the yellow nectar callus. Flowers have dark yellow corollas and labellum bright red around margins, much like a Costus pictus flower. It is a vigorous growing and easy flowering cultivar.


ACCESSIONS:Click links (if any) to see details of individual collections. R3317- R3318-

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Photos (if available) of Taxon ID 7578