Chamaecostus subsessilis - Gingers R Us
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Catalog : Costaceae : Hardy Costaceae :

Chamaecostus subsessilis

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It's official! The genus Costus has been reclassified into 4 separate genera as of 2006. The Asian Costus species have been moved into the new genus Cheilocostus. Two species (from Asian and Africa) are now Paracostus, and the short neo tropical species formerly in subgenus Cadalvena are now moved to a new genus - Chamaecostus. One of these is the former Costus subsessilis. If you are interested in such things, a full explanation for the changes is on my website at http://www.gingersrus.com/CostusReclassification.htm.

Costus subsessilis' Chamaecostus subsessilis is a beautiful little plant with bright yellow flowers well contrasted against light green foliage. It grows to a height of less than a foot and is perfect for the front of a garden bed. It will sometimes produce a few bulbils but is mostly must be propagated by division of the rhizomes and is fairly slow to spread.

Chamaecostus subsessilis is one of the two species in Costaceae that is NOT an evergreen plant in its native habitat. This species is well adapted to a dormant period (in the dry season in the tropics) which is very much to our advantage in the southern US, because it can be overwintered while dormant. In fact, most sources rate it as zone 8 hardy, and I know it is hardy here in zone 8B Tallahassee. The rhizomes can be left outdoors in the ground where they will go dormant in fall (like Curcumas and Kaempferias) but will resprout in the spring, usually in late April. If you have any doubt about their hardiness, you can lift the rhizomes and store them overwinter semi-dry in a warm garage or closet. They prefer part shade and moist but well drained soil.


Costus subsessilis'

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