Costus lasius - Gingers R Us
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Catalog : Costaceae : Dave's Picks :

Costus lasius

Type: Plant

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Costus lasius - flower Costus lasius is a medium-sized spiral ginger which according to Maas can grow to 2 meters tall but in my garden it grows to a height of about 3 feet. The sheaths (stems) are very slim, almost like a vine, and are covered with small hairs as are most of the plant parts of this Costus. When I see this plant it always amazes me that it is able to hold itself upright at all. The leaves are also on the petite side, medium green and rather plain looking.

When it blooms, the inflorescense is terminal and the bracts are bright yellow and tightly packed into a cone in the same manner as Costus scaber and several other red or red-orange cone-type Costus. The rounded cones on this one give it the common name of "yellow lollipop". The flowers are also bright yellow and pop out from between the bracts as in the picture to the right.

I have seen this species listed as "hardy" on the one mail order site and listed as zone 9 in another. I have tested it for hardiness myself here in Tallahassee (zone 8B) for two winters which were quite mild, and it did not survive here outdoors. I believe it may be hardy in zone 9B. Costus need similar soil to other gingers - rich, organic and kept moist during active growth.

I grow this Costus in about 3 hours of direct sunlight where the foliage stays fresh and vigorous and it flowers well. I nature I have seen it growing and flowering in shade. This Costus makes an especially good landscape plant, because the stems grow very close together, and with time this will make a large clump with a pleasing rounded, almost bushy shape as in the picture below.

Costus lasius in my garden Nice Bushy Shape

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