Costus arabicus - Gingers R Us
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Catalog : Costaceae : Tender Costaceae :

Costus arabicus

Type: Plant

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Costus arabicus Costus arabicus is a vigorous growing Costus, and is in fact the type species for the genus. It is characterized by pure white flowers with a splash of yellow in the labellum, green bracts, stems that branch as in Cheilocostus, and a cordate leaf base. As the inflorescense matures, the bracts will sometimes open up exposing their bright red interiors and putting on a "second show" so to speak.

I have seen this plant in nature in Amazonian Peru, in Guyana and in Brazil. In nature it is usually found along river banks and in relatively wet places, so that should give us a clue on how to grow it.

The foliage is tropical and attractive, medium green, spiraling around the sheaths. The late Bob Riffle, in The Tropical Look gave this a conservative cold hardiness rating of zone 9B, but I have found this Costus to be susceptible to rotting of the rhizomes if left outside in winter wet conditions while dormant. This Costus will grow well in a range from part sun to filtered shade. During active growth it needs rich, moist, organic soil.


Costus arabicus - exposed bracts Costus arabicus - exposed bracts Costus arabicus - exposed bracts

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