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Costus igneus

(Fiery Costus)

Common Names

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Click on the language to view common names.

Common Names in English:

Fiery Costus

Common Names in French:

Chamaecostus cuspidatus

Common Names in Spanish, Castilian:

Chamaecostus cuspidatus

Common Names in Thai:



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Family Costaceae

Herbs perennial , terrestrial , not aromatic , with fleshy rhizomes. Stems usually simple , often long, terete , sometimes spirally contorted, leafy; secondary branches (if present) breaking through leaf sheaths . Leaves spirally arranged , simple, those toward base of stem usually bladeless; leaf sheath tubular , closed ; ligule present; petiole short; leaf blade narrowly to broadly elliptic , rolled longitudinally in bud, glabrous or hairy , margin entire. Inflorescence a conelike spike, terminal on leafy shoots or on separate, short, leafless shoots arising from rhizomes; bracts imbricate, with linear , nectariferous callus below apex, 1- or 2-flowered; bracteoles tubular or folded. Flowers bisexual , epigynous , zygomorphic. Calyx tubular, 2- or 3-lobed or -toothed. Corolla proximally tubular, distally 3-lobed; lobes unequal, imbricate in bud. Staminodes 5, united into a labellum equaling or much longer than corolla, often 3-lobed with crisped margin, never deeply lobed . Fertile stamen 1; filament broad; anther borne below apex of filament or at apex with a connective crest , introrse , dehiscing by longitudinal slits. Ovary inferior, 2- or 3-loculed; ovules many per locule; placentation axile . Developed style 1, filiform , usually enclosed between anther locules; stigma with or without abaxial appendage . Stylodes 2, reduced to septal, hollow nectaries at apex of ovary, or absent. Fruit a capsule, 2- or 3-valved and dehiscing loculicidally, or indehiscent and breaking up irregularly, apex with persistent calyx. Seeds numerous , black, arillate .

Four genera and ca. 120 species: pantropical with center of diversity in America; one genus and five species (two endemic) in China.[1]

Genus Costus

Rhizomes horizontal, tuberous . Stems sometimes branched, usually spirally twisted, leafy, rarely plants stemless. Leaf blade oblong to lanceolate. Inflorescences terminal or lateral on separate, short, leafless shoots arising from rhizomes, conical , densely many flowered; bracts imbricate, 1- or 2-flowered. Calyx 3-lobed or -toothed at apex. Corolla tube equaling or longer than calyx. Labellum obovate , large, margin incurved . Stamen petaloid ; anther locules linear . Ovary 3-loculed; ovules many per locule, superposed . Style filiform ; stigma funnelform . Stylodes absent. Capsule subglobose or ovoid , woody. Seeds many, black; aril lacerate .

About 90 species: tropical and subtropical regions; five species (two endemic) in China.[2]


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Publishing author : N.E.Br. Publication : Ill. Hort. xxxi. (1884) 25. t. 511

Similar Species

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Members of the genus Costus

ZipcodeZoo has pages for 18 species, subspecies, varieties, forms, and cultivars in this genus:

C. barbatus (Red Tower Ginger) · C. curvibracteatus (Dwarf Orange Ginger) · C. curvibracteatus 'Green Mountain' (Dwarf Orange Ginger) · C. cuspidatus (Fiery Costus) · C. erythrophyllus (Blood Red Spiral Costus) · C. guanaiensis (Cana De India) · C. guanaiensis Rusby var. macrostrobilus (K.Schum.) Maas (Cana De India) · C. guanaiensis var. macrostrobilus (Cana De India) · C. igneus (Fiery Costus) · C. malortieanus (Spiral Ginger) · C. osae (Costus) · C. pulverulentus (Spiral Ginger) · C. speciosus (Canereed) · C. speciosus 'Foster Variegated' (Variegated Crepe Ginger) · C. speciosus 'Variegatus' (Cane Reed) · C. spicatus (Costus) · C. spiralis (Spiral Ginger) · C. woodsonii (Dwarf French Kiss)

More Info

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Further Reading

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  1. Delin Wu & Kai Larsen "Costaceae". in Flora of China Vol. 24 Page 320. Published by Science Press (Beijing) and Missouri Botanical Garden Press. Online at [back]
  2. "Costus". in Flora of China Vol. 24 Page 320. Published by Science Press (Beijing) and Missouri Botanical Garden Press. Online at [back]
Last Revised: 2/1/2015