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Costus Species Botanical Description Botanical Description page for GingersRus plant database number " 3607 ".
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Costus scaber

Costus scaber Ruiz & Pav.



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Photo# 11633 Specimen# R0
Costus scaber by Kathleen Kay, Michigan State University


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Photo# 11634 Specimen# R0
Costus scaber by Kathleen Kay, Michigan State University


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Photo# 11635 Specimen# R0
Costus scaber by Kathleen Kay, Michigan State University


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Photo# 12737 Specimen# R0
Costus scaber at Lyon Arboretum, Oahu, Hawaii 80.0703 (red bract form from Dave Skinner at Waimea Audubon Center, Oahu, Hawaii )


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Photo# 12738 Specimen# R0
Costus scaber at Lyon Arboretum, Oahu, Hawaii 80.0703 (red bract form from Dave Skinner at Waimea Audubon Center, Oahu, Hawaii )


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Photo# 12739 Specimen# R0
Costus scaber at Lyon Arboretum, Oahu, Hawaii 80.0703 (red bract form from Dave Skinner at Waimea Audubon Center, Oahu, Hawaii )


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Photo# 11637 Specimen# R0
Costus scaber at Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO


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Photo# 11638 Specimen# R0
Costus scaber at Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO


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Photo# 11639 Specimen# R0
Costus scaber at Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO


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Photo# 12740 Specimen# R0
Costus aff. scaber at Waimea Audubon Center, Oahu, Hawaii #70S316


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Photo# 12741 Specimen# R0
Costus aff. scaber at Waimea Audubon Center, Oahu, Hawaii #70S316 ligules


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Photo# 17673 Specimen# R0
Costus scaber along trail to waterfall at Mallqui - at type locality


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Photo# 17674 Specimen# R0
Costus scaber along trail to waterfall at Mallqui - this is in the area Ruiz explored between Cuchero and Chinchao


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Photo# 17675 Specimen# R0
Costus scaber along trail to waterfall at Mallqui


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Photo# 17676 Specimen# R0
Costus scaber along trail to waterfall at Mallqui


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Photo# 17677 Specimen# R0
Costus scaber along road to Cueva Pumahuassi


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Photo# 17678 Specimen# R0
Costus scaber along road to Cueva Pumahuassi


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Photo# 17679 Specimen# R0
Costus scaber along road to Cueva Pumahuassi


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Photo# 17680 Specimen# R0
Costus scaber along road to Cueva Pumahuassi


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Photo# 17681 Specimen# R0
Costus scaber along road to Cueva Pumahuassi - ligule


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Photo# 17682 Specimen# R0
Costus scaber along road to Cueva Pumahuassi - leaf underside


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Photo# 17683 Specimen# R0
Costus scaber along road to Cueva Pumahuassi - leaf upper side, with single line of hairs at midrib, characteristic of C. scaber


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Photo# 17684 Specimen# R0
Costus scaber at Parque Nacional Tingo Maria, Catarata Gloriapata trail


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Photo# 17685 Specimen# R0
Costus scaber at Parque Nacional Tingo Maria, Catarata Gloriapata trail - ligule


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Photo# 17686 Specimen# R0
Costus scaber at Parque Nacional Tingo Maria, Catarata Gloriapata trail


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Photo# 17687 Specimen# R0
Costus scaber at Parque Nacional Tingo Maria, Catarata Gloriapata trail


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Photo# 17688 Specimen# R0
Costus scaber near Santa Rosa - this is near Chacahuassi along the Rio Huallaga


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Photo# 17689 Specimen# R0
Costus scaber near Santa Rosa - this is near Chacahuassi along the Rio Huallaga


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Photo# 17690 Specimen# R0
Costus scaber near Santa Rosa - ligule


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Photo# 17966 Specimen# R3384
Costus scaber at Rio Repente near Cayumba


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Photo# 17967 Specimen# R3384
Costus scaber at Rio Repente near Cayumba


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Photo# 17968 Specimen# R3384
Costus scaberat Rio Repente near Cayumba


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Photo# 17969 Specimen# R3384
Costus scaberat Rio Repente near Cayumba


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Photo# 17970 Specimen# R3384
Costus scaber at Rio Repente near Cayumba - inflorence


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Photo# 17971 Specimen# R3384
Costus scaber at Rio Repente near Cayumba - bracts, bracteole, calyx and flower


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Photo# 17972 Specimen# R3384
Costus scaber at Rio Repente near Cayumba - bracteole, calyx, corolla lobes, stamen, labellum


BOTANICAL NAME: Costus scaber
SUBGENUS:Costus
GROUP:2-bracts not appendaged
SECTION:II-Ornithophilus
PRIMARY SOURCE USED FOR DESCRIPTION:Maas, Flora Neotropica No. 8, 1972
SECONDARY SOURCES:Manual de Plantas de Costa Rica Vol II, 2003, Missouri Botanical Garden
LAST UPDATED:
NOTES AND DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS:Characterized by strigulose costa and small cylindric infl. with orange-red bracts and orange-yellow flowers. Closely related to C. lasius, C. sprucei, C. zingiberoides, C. woodsonii, and C. chartaceus. To see a table comparing four of these species, Click Here. Flora Neotropica also includes a table that compares C. scaber with C. spicatus and C. spiralis. (click here)

The photos shown on this page are from a plant that was identified as Costus scaber at the Smithsonian, USBRG#94-677 and from a plant received in horticulture as Costus spciatus. I have not dissected and fully examined the details yet, but it looks identical to the plant sold in horticulture as Costus spicatus. The calyx and bracteoles from both specimens are short and that along with the fact that the bracts are not green convince me that this (and others in the hort. trade) are actually Costus scaber.

Manual de Plantas de Costa Rica mentions that some plants from higher altitudes can be difficult to distinguish from C. wilsonii. The difference is that C. wilsonii does not have a strigulose center vein on the upper side of the leaves, and it does have flowers with a "rayado" (spreading?) labellum. Also, mentiions some cultivated plants in the central valley of Costa Rica with greenish bracts and sometimes confused with Costus pictus.

Some of the photos to the left of plants found in the higher altitudes along the trails near Cerro Brujo between Rancho Quemado and Drake in Costa Rica, may in fact be Costus wilsonii instead of Costus scaber. There were no flowers seen - only the bracts - but these were distinctively thin stemmed and they had the "rolled acumen" mentioned under Costus wilsonii. Costus wilsonii has not been reported on the Osa Peninsula.
NATURAL DISTRIBUTION:Widespread in Neotropics, common in clearings and along forest edges or banks of streams, mostly low altitudes up to 600 m
HEIGHT:0 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
Sheath

glabrous or densely puberulous


0 to 0 cm 5 to 15 mm
Liguleshort, 1-15 mm

like sheaths

obliquely truncate
2 to 12 mm 0 to 0 mm
Petiole

glabrous or densely puberulous, rarely villose


2 to 10 mm 0 to 0 mm
Leaf apical margins not involute



narrowly elliptic
10 to 32 cm 3 to 11 cm
...upper

glabrous-puberulous, strigulose along costa




...under

glabrous-minutely puberulous, costa sericeous




...base



cunate to rounded, rarely cordate


...apex



acuminate
5 to 30 mm
Inflorescence terminal on a leafy stem, elongating to 22 cm in fruit.



ovoid to narrowly cylindric
4 to 10 cm 1 to 3 cm
Bract margins dilacerating into fibers, callus yellow 2-10 mm
often orange-red to red
glabrous to densely puberulous, rarely strigose
thick, coriaceous
broadly ovate, obtuse
2.0 to 3.5 cm 2.0 to 3.5 cm
Appendage none




0.0 to 0.0 cm 0.0 to 0.0 cm
Bracteole
reddish
glabrous to densely puberulous

boat shape
0.9 to 1.2 cm 0.0 to 0.0 cm
Flower




0 to 0 cm 0 to 0 cm
Calyx
reddish
glabrous to densely puberulous

lobes shallow triangular
0.3 to 0.7 cm 0.0 to 0.0 cm
Corolla tube 10 mm long
orange to yellow


lobes narrowly obovate
3.5 to 4.0 cm 0.0 to 0.0 cm
Labellum 33-35 mm long, 25-28 mm wide, lateral lobes rolled inward forming a tube 5-10 mm diam.
yellow


oblong obovate when spread
2.0 to 3.0 cm 1.5 to 2.0 cm
Stamen equal or slightly exceeding labellum, anther 5-7 mm
red to orange-red, yellow apex


narrowly elliptic, apex obtuse
2.0 to 2.5 cm 0.6 to 0.8 cm

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