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Thumbnail Sheet for African Costus Species

Thumbnail Sheet for African Costus Species

African Costus are a pretty mixed-up group. The well-known Costus expert, Dr. Paul Maas, has been working on a monograph of the African plants, and there will likely be some substantial changes to the species groupings.

There are some very similar-looking plants that normally flower at the base with green bracts and mostly white flowers, very hard to tell apart. A key character is whether they produce one flower per bract or two flowers per bract. This can be difficult to see without breaking apart the inflorescence to see if there is one or two calyx under a single bract.

There are some thin-stemmed, vine-like Costus that flower laterally at the leaf nodes, as well as at the base with small but beautiful flowers in yellow, pink and white. These plants are well suited to growing in hanging baskets.

Finally there is Costus spectabilis, a deciduous plant that produces a bright yellow flower at the center of a rosette of large leaves that hug the surface of the ground.

Click on a thumbnail image to view a full size image.
Click on the SPECIES NAME to read about the plant and see more photos of that species.
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Thumbnail page set to 5 columns wide.
If you want you can change the number of columns and then click "GO".
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Costus afer
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Costus deistelii syn. of C. afer
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Costus dubius
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Costus fissiligulatus syn. of C. phyllocephalus
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Costus lateriflorus


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Costus lucanusianus
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Costus lucanusianus yellow flowering form
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Costus maculatus syn. of C. dubius
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Costus megalobractea syn. of C. afer
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Costus mosaicus


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Costus sp. possibly letestui syn. of C. lateriflorus
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Costus spectabilis
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Costus talbotii
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Costus tappenbeckianus

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