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Costus Species Botanical Description Botanical Description page for GingersRus plant database number " 3726 ".
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Costus guanaiensis

Costus guanaiensis Rusby



Accession # R2876 identified as Costus guanaiensis 'Sweet Charlotte' from Le Jardin Ombragé BOTANICAL NAME: Costus guanaiensis
SUBGENUS:Costus
GROUP:1-bracts with appendage
SECTION:I-Costus
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: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
Rhizome




0 to 0 cm0 to 0 cm
Sheath

variable


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

variable

truncate
5 to 10 mm 0 to 0 mm
Petiole

variable


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
...upper
green
variable




...under
green
variable




...base



cuneate, rounded or rarely cordate


...apex



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
variable
coriaceous
broadly ovate
2.0 to 4.0 cm 0.0 to 5.0 cm
Appendage ascending or slightly reflexed, rarely absent
green

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

boat shape
2.5 to 4.0 cm 0.0 to 0.0 cm
Flower




0 to 0 cm 0 to 0 cm
Calyx
red
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

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