Paracostus englerianus


Paracostus is a very small genus of plants in the plant family Costaceae split off as a separate genus from Costus in 2006 by Dr. Chelsea Specht. They are described as short or prostrate rhizomatous herbs ascending as a climbing herb, 10-50 cm in height with one or a few leaves each of which potentially subtends an axillary inflorescence instead of a terminal inflorescence on a leafy or basal leafless stem as in Costus or Chamaecostus or arising from the rhizome as in some species of Cheilocostus. The inflorescence is an abbreviated spike emerging directly from the axis of a solitary leaf, with few flowers, more like Monocostus. The stigma is cup shaped like Chamaecostus and lacks the lobes of Costus species. Previously they were classified by Schumann as a subgenus of Costus.

There are only two formally recognized species - one from Borneo and the other from Africa. Three other species from Borneo were recently described, but the authors did not accept the reclassification of these plants to the new genus Paracostus, so they are formally listed as Costus. I am placing them here but retaining their formal scientific names as Costus as described by the authors.

SHOWN IN PHOTO: Paracostus englerianus

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