GingersRus is a trademark of Le Jardin Ombragé
Click on logo above to go to GingersRus HOMEPAGE.
Costus Species Botanical Description Botanical Description page for GingersRus plant database number " 3726 ".
You can select the botanical description of a different plant from this list:

Costus guanaiensis

Costus guanaiensis Rusby

Accession # R2876 identified as Costus guanaiensis 'Sweet Charlotte' from Le Jardin Ombragé BOTANICAL NAME: Costus guanaiensis
GROUP:1-bracts with appendage
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
NOTES AND DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS:In Flora Neotropica No. 8, Maas classifies 4 varieties keyed as follows:
var. guanaiensis (s Colombia, e Peru, w Bolivia and Costa Rica - Sheaths hirsute to strigose and lower side of leaves ferrugineous-villose, upper side strigose to glabrous
var. asplundii, later reclassified by Maas as a separate species, C. asplundii (Ecuador) - Sheaths hirsute to strigose and lower side of leaves strigose, upper side glabrescent
var. macrostrobilus - Sheaths puberulous, villose or glabrous and upper side of leaves strigose, somewhat scabrid to touch
var. tarmicus - Sheaths puberulous, villose or glabrous and upper side of leaves glabrous to puberulous
NOTE: this is also closely associated (by key) with an unnamed C. aff. claviger species that Maas described.
NOTE 2: In Flora Neotropica No. 18, Maas mentions a Costa Rican specimen that matches Costus bracteatus which is syn. of C. guanaiensis var. guanaiensis, except for having strongly plicate leaves.
NATURAL DISTRIBUTION:Rain forests, riverbank forests or swamps in Central America, n and w South America, sea level to 1600 meters.
HEIGHT:2 to 6 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

0 to 0 cm0 to 0 cm


0 to 0 cm 10 to 40 mm
Liguleshort, 5-10 mm


5 to 10 mm 0 to 0 mm


5 to 20 mm 0 to 0 mm
Leaf lower side of leaves glabrous to villose

narrowly ovate to narrowly obovate
20 to 65 cm 5 to 15 cm



cuneate, rounded or rarely cordate


shortly acuminate
0 to 0 mm
Inflorescence terminal on a leafy stem or on separate leafless shoot to .5 m tall.

ovoid, obtuse
5 to 15 cm 4 to 6 cm
Bract all bracts with foliaceous, green appendages, or apices of all bracts reflexed., callus absent or 10 mm
green exposed, red covered part
broadly ovate
2.0 to 4.0 cm 0.0 to 5.0 cm
Appendage ascending or slightly reflexed, rarely absent

foliaceous, rigid
narrowly triangular to deltate
2.0 to 4.0 cm 1.5 to 2.0 cm
red, often greenish tipped
glabrous to densely puberulous

boat shape
2.5 to 4.0 cm 0.0 to 0.0 cm

0 to 0 cm 0 to 0 cm
glabrous to densely puberulous

lobes triangular
1.4 to 1.8 cm 0.0 to 0.0 cm
Corolla tube 20 mm long
white, reddish white or yellowish white
glabrous to densely puberulous

lobes narrowly obovate
7.0 to 10.0 cm 0.0 to 0.0 cm
Labellum large, spreading limb, lateral lobes usually striped with red, middle lobe reflexed, blotched with yellow to orange in center
white or yellowish white

broadly obovate
7.5 to 11.0 cm 0.0 to 0.0 cm
Stamen anther 10-14 mm long
white to pinkish white

apex obtuse or obscurely 3 lobed
4.0 to 6.0 cm 0.7 to 2.0 cm

Copyright © 2003-2021 - Dave Skinner,
All images on this page are copyrighted. They may be downloaded and/or printed for personal use and scientific research, but may not be published in paper or electronic media without my express consent. They absolutely may not be used commercially in any way whatsoever without my express consent. To inquire about permissions, contact