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

Costus talbotii

Type: Plant

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Costus talbotii - flower Costus talbotii is another of the semi-epiphytic Costus species from Africa, sometimes found in the horticultural trade in the US under the common name "Blushing Spiral". It was not an included species in Schumann's " Das Pflanzenreich", but probably should be placed the same as C. lateriflorus in subgenus metacostus. Dr. Paul Maas is working on a monograph of the African Costus and told me he is placeing this species as one of the epiphytic types.

It can bloom either basally from the rhizome or laterally from the leaf axil. The stems, foliage and habit are very similar to Costus lateriflorus, but the flowers are quite different in color and shape - white with a pink blush and yellow markings on the labellum and not so tubular at the base as Costus lateriflorus.

I tested some of it outdoors one winter for hardiness, and as expected it did not survive even in our mild winter of 2005 here in zone 8B Tallahassee. I am guessing it would only be hardy zone 10, possibly zone 9B. It should be grown in warm, humid conditions year round if possible, in very loose, well drained soil of planting medium with light fertilization. I like to grow it in hanging baskets in my greenhouse over winter then outdoors in the summer.


Costus talbotii Costus talbotii Costus talbotii Costus talbotii - basal bloom Costus talbotii - lateral bloom

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