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Costus Species Botanical Description Botanical Description page for GingersRus plant database number " 3042 ".
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Cheilocostus speciosus

Cheilocostus speciosus (J.König) C.Specht



Accession # R3320 identified as Cheilocostus speciosus from Le Jardin Ombragé
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Photo# 13267 Specimen# R0
Cheilocostus/Hellenia speciosa


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Photo# 13268 Specimen# R0
Cheilocostus/Hellenia speciosa


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Photo# 13269 Specimen# R0
Cheilocostus/Hellenia speciosa


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Photo# 13270 Specimen# R0
Cheilocostus/Hellenia speciosa


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Photo# 13271 Specimen# R0
Cheilocostus/Hellenia speciosa


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Photo# 13272 Specimen# R0
Cheilocostus/Hellenia speciosa


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Photo# 13273 Specimen# R0
Cheilocostus/Hellenia speciosa


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Photo# 13274 Specimen# R0
Cheilocostus/Hellenia speciosa


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Photo# 13275 Specimen# R0
Cheilocostus/Hellenia speciosa


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Photo# 13276 Specimen# R0
Cheilocostus/Hellenia speciosa


BOTANICAL NAME: Cheilocostus speciosus
SUBGENUS:
GROUP:2-bracts not appendaged
SECTION:II-Ornithophilus
PRIMARY SOURCE USED FOR DESCRIPTION:Maas, Flora Neotropica No. 8, 1972
SECONDARY SOURCES:
LAST UPDATED:
NOTES AND DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS:This Costus is frequently confused with Costus lacerus, many plants being incorrectly identified as Costus speciosus. Maas points out that they are easily distinguished as Costus speciosus has pointed (pungent) bracts wheras Costus lacerus the apex of the bract delacerate quickly into fibers, as to the bracteoles and calyx. The description below is from Flora of China and from Flora Neotropica, with the differences noted. Also, Maas in Notes on Asiatic and Australian Costoidae, Blumea 25 (1979) 543-549 indicates that in Costus speciosus the indument is highly variable.

Until I studied this I did not realize that the plant in my garden I had assumed to be Costus speciosus is really Costus lacerus. These pictures are from Mounts Botanical Garden (and other places) and clearly show the pungent bracts that distinguish this species.
NATURAL DISTRIBUTION:Indo-Malaysia (naturalized in the Antilles and very widely cultivated)
HEIGHT:1 to 3 meters
Botanical Description for this Species
For illustrations or explanation of terminology, click on the linked plant part or column header.
Descriptions used for plant identification key are shown in BOLD.
Plant PartGeneralColorHairsTextureShape LengthWidth
Rhizome




0 to 0 cm0 to 0 cm
SheathFC-base slightly woody, apex branched and spirally twisted when old
green, tinged brownish red
densely minutely puberulous to glabrous


0 to 0 cm 7 to 12 mm
Ligule

densely minutely puberulous to glabrous

truncate
1 to 2 mm 0 to 0 mm
Petiole (Maas- 2-5 mm long)

densely puberulo-sericious


5 to 7 mm 0 to 0 mm
Leaf FC also notes densely sericious undersides. (Maas leaves 12-25 cm by 3-6 cm, base cunate to rounded)



oblong or lanceolate (Maas=narrowly elliptic)
15 to 20 cm 6 to 10 cm
...upper

glabrous




...under

densely sericious to puberulous




...base



subrounded


...apex



acuminate or caudate acuminate
2 to 7 mm
Inflorescence terminal on a leafy stem, (Maas- 4-7 cm long)



ellipsoid or ovoid
5 to 15 cm 3 to 5 cm
Bract pungent point at the apex. (Maas- 2.5-3.5 cm long by 1-2.5 cm wide, point is 2-10 mm long)
red, to brownish red
pubescent
leathery
ovate, apex sharply pointed
0.0 to 2.0 cm 0.0 to 0.0 cm
Appendage none




0.0 to 0.0 cm 0.0 to 0.0 cm
Bracteole (Maas- 1.8-2 cm long)
pale red (Maas-brownish red)
sparsely minutely puberulous


1.2 to 1.5 cm 0.0 to 0.0 cm
Flower




0 to 0 cm 0 to 0 cm
Calyx Maas, 22-25 mm long, exceeding the bracts(FC has it slightly shorter, 3 lobed)
reddish-black (Maas-reddish brown to green)
apex densely sericious
leathery, rigid

1.8 to 2.0 cm 0.0 to 0.0 cm
Corolla tube 1 cm (Maas- 1.5 cm)
white, FC-apex white or red
sericious to puberulous

lobes oblong-elliptic
0.0 to 5.0 cm 0.0 to 0.0 cm
Labellum very showy, apex toothed and crisped with edges overlapping, (Maas- 6-7 cm long by 8-10 cm wide, margins crenate, middle lobe blotched yellow)
white to pinkish white


trumpet shaped, broadly obovate when spread
6.5 to 9.0 cm 0.0 to 0.0 cm
Stamen urceolate, anther 11 mm
white with orange yellow base
pubescent

narrowly elliptic to narrowly ovate
0.0 to 4.5 cm 0.0 to 1.3 cm

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