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Costus Species Botanical Description Botanical Description page for GingersRus plant database number " 3430 ".
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Costus afer

Costus afer Ker Gawl.



Accession # R2911 identified as Costus afer from Le Jardin Ombragé
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Photo# 15215 Specimen# R0
Costus after, plant cultivated in Thailand, photo by John Mood, John says it is fragrant


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Photo# 15216 Specimen# R0
Costus after, plant cultivated in Thailand, photo by John Mood


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Photo# 15217 Specimen# R0
Costus after, plant cultivated in Thailand, photo by John Mood


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Photo# 15218 Specimen# R0
Costus after, plant cultivated in Thailand, photo by John Mood


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Photo# 15214 Specimen# R2911
Costus afer form cultivated in U. S. - terminal inflorescence


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Photo# 15191 Specimen# R2911
Costus afer form cultivated in U. S. - terminal inflorescence


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Photo# 15213 Specimen# R2911
Costus afer form cultivated in U. S. - terminal inflorescence


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Photo# 15212 Specimen# R2911
Costus afer form cultivated in U. S. - flower


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Photo# 15211 Specimen# R2911
Costus afer form cultivated in U. S. - flower


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Photo# 15210 Specimen# R2911
Costus afer form cultivated in U. S. - stamen


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Photo# 15209 Specimen# R2911
Costus afer form cultivated in U. S. - labellum


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Photo# 15208 Specimen# R2911
Costus afer form cultivated in U. S. - labellum


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Photo# 15207 Specimen# R2911
Costus afer form cultivated in U. S. - note TWO flowers per bract


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Photo# 15206 Specimen# R2911
Costus afer form cultivated in U. S. - bracteole and calyx


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Photo# 15205 Specimen# R2911
Costus afer form cultivated in U. S. - bracteole


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Photo# 15204 Specimen# R2911
Costus afer form cultivated in U. S. - basal inflorescence


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Photo# 15203 Specimen# R2911
Costus afer form cultivated in U. S. - terminal inflorescence


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Photo# 15202 Specimen# R0
Costus afer at US Bot. Garden Conservatory, Washington, DC


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Photo# 15201 Specimen# R0
Costus afer at US Bot. Garden Conservatory, Washington, DC - ligule


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Photo# 15200 Specimen# R0
Costus afer at US Bot. Garden Conservatory, Washington, DC - basal inflorescence


BOTANICAL NAME: Costus afer
SUBGENUS:
GROUP:
SECTION:
PRIMARY SOURCE USED FOR DESCRIPTION:Koechlin - Flore du Gabon, Flora du Cameroun, 1965
SECONDARY SOURCES:Lock - Flora of Tropical East Africa, 1985
LAST UPDATED:
NOTES AND DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS:KOECHLIN KEY: Plants with upright stems, with many leaves arranged along the stem, or grouped toward the top. Inflorescence terminal on a leafy main stem. Bracts without appendage or only on lower bracts. Large plants, several meters high, ligule short and non-membranous. Bracts green, more or less bordered with red, each producing 2 flowers. C. afer distinguished from C. lucanusianunus by the following:
Separation at sheath-ligule marked by a thickening more or less clear-cut, but no hairs and never entirely surrounding the sheath.
Calyx not longer than bracts
Leaves glabrous or nearly so.
Flowers are the same as C. lucanusianus (ci-dessus)

NOTE: I have the form of Costus afer with both terminal and radical inflorescence. Koechlin mentions a different form that flowers both terminal on a leafy stem and basal on a separate leafless stem, described by A. Chevalier at the Ivory Coast, he named Costus prodigiosus. Lock says this has NOT been observed in East Africa specimens.

Photos to the left are believed to be C. afer.
NATURAL DISTRIBUTION:Tropical Africa - Gabon, Ghana, Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, westward to Sierra Leone, moist places in forest and at forest edges, 190-1200 m.
HEIGHT:1 to 4 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
Sheath
green



0 to 0 cm 0 to 12 mm
Ligulemarquee by a line in relief, on both sides of the



truncate-ondulee
4 to 12 mm 0 to 0 mm
Petiole




3 to 8 mm 0 to 0 mm
Leaf



oblanceolate, slightly rounded
15 to 35 cm 3 to 9 cm
...upper
dark green
glabrous
papery, coriacious



...under

glabrous, line of hairs at margiun




...base






...apex



acuminate
0 to 0 mm
Inflorescence Basal - from separate leafless shoot



globular
0 to 0 cm 3 to 4 cm
Bract bracts covering the calyx
green w/ red margins


ovate to broadly elliptical
2.0 to 3.5 cm 3.0 to 0.0 cm
Appendage NONE




0.0 to 0.0 cm 0.0 to 0.0 cm
Bracteole


carinate, callus on appendage
boat shape
2.5 to 0.0 cm 0.8 to 0.0 cm
Flower slightly fragrant, 2 fowers per bract
white



0 to 0 cm 0 to 0 cm
Calyx
pale green, reddish margin
glabrous or slightly pubescent at the apex
thin, almost transparent
3 lobed
1.7 to 2.0 cm 0.0 to 0.0 cm
Corolla
white

chartaceous

4.0 to 4.5 cm 0.0 to 0.0 cm
Labellum
white, pink-violet margin, yellow-orange blotch


funnel, margins slightly irregular
5.0 to 6.0 cm 0.0 to 0.0 cm
Stamen




3.0 to 0.0 cm 1.2 to 0.0 cm

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