Costus

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For the plant known in Ancient Rome as “costus”, see Saussurea costus.
See Catherine of Alexandria for the man named Costus often held to be her father.
Costus
Costus pulverulentus.jpg
Costus pulverulentus at Rara Avis, Costa Rica
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
(unranked): Monocots
(unranked): Commelinids
Order: Zingiberales
Family: Costaceae
Genus: Costus
L.
Synonyms[1]

Costus is a group of perennial herbaceous plants in the family (Costaceae) described by Linnaeus as a genus in 1753.[2][3] It is widespread through tropical and subtropical regions of Asia, Africa, and the Americas.[1][4][5]

Costus is often characterized and distinguished from relatives such as Zingiber (true ginger) by itsspiraling stems. The genus as a whole is thus often called spiral gingers, but this can also refer to C. barbatus specifically.

Costus spectabilis is the floral emblem of Nigeria; its flowers are represented (erroneously in red instead of yellow color) on its coat of arms. It is important not to confuse "Costus speciosus, C. spectabilis etc. with the herb known by the common name 'costus'. Some species are of importance to herbivores, such as caterpillars of the Restricted Demon (Notocrypta curvifascia) which feed on Crape Ginger (C. speciosus). The Crape Ginger is also a source of diosgenin, a compound used for the commercial production of various steroids, such as progesterone. In Trinidad and Tobago, a mix of Costus scaber juice and crushed Renealmia alpinia berries is used to treat dogs bitten by snakes.[6]

Species[1]
  1. Costus acanthocephalus K.Schum. - Sumatra
  2. Costus acreanus (Loes.) Maas - Colombia, Peru, N Brazil
  3. Costus adolphi-friderici Loes. - Zaïre
  4. Costus afer Ker Gawl. - trop Africa
  5. Costus allenii Maas - S Central America, NW South America
  6. Costus amazonicus (Loes.) J.F.Macbr. - NW South America
  7. Costus arabicus Vell. - West Indies, South America
  8. Costus araneosus Gagnep. - Congo Republic
  9. Costus asplundii (Maas) Maas - Ecuador, Peru
  10. Costus asteranthus Maas & H.Maas - Peru
  11. Costus barbatus Suess - Spiral Ginger - Costa Rica
  12. Costus beckii Maas & H.Maas - Peru, Bolivia
  13. Costus bicolor J.Braun & K.Schum. - Cameroon
  14. Costus bracteatus Rowlee - - S Central America
  15. Costus bullatus Meekiong, Muliati & Ipor - Sarawak
  16. Costus chartaceus Maas - Christmas Costus - Colombia, Ecuador
  17. Costus chrysocephalus K.Schum. - Lesser Sunda Is
  18. Costus claviger Benoist - the Guianas
  19. Costus clemensiae Ridl. - Mindanao
  20. Costus comosus Roscoe - from Oaxaca to Ecuador
  21. Costus cordatus Maas - Colombia
  22. Costus cupreifolius Maas - Colombia
  23. Costus curvibracteatus Maas - from Nicaragua to Colombia
  24. Costus deistellii K.Schum. - W Africa
  25. Costus dendrophilus K.Schum. - Cameroon
  26. Costus dewevrei De Wild. & T.Durand - C Africa
  27. Costus dinklagei K.Schum. - C Africa
  28. Costus dirzoi García-Mend. & G.Ibarra - Veracruz
  29. Costus dubius (Afzel.) K.Schum. - trop Africa
  30. Costus eburneus Meekiong, Muliati & Tawan - Sarawak
  31. Costus erythrocoryne K.Schum. - Colombia, Ecuador, Peru
  32. Costus erythrophyllus Loes. - Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, N Brazil
  33. Costus erythrothyrsus Loes. - Peru, N Brazil, Guianas
  34. Costus fissicalyx N.R.Salinas, Clavijo & Betancur - Colombia
  35. Costus fissiligulatus Gagnep. - C Africa
  36. Costus foliaceus Lock & A.D.Poulsen - Uganda
  37. Costus fortalezae K.Schum. - Acre
  38. Costus gabonensis Koechlin - Gabon, Congo Rep
  39. Costus geothyrsus K.Schum. - Ecuador
  40. Costus giganteus Welw. ex Ridl. - São Tomé, Príncipe, Annobón, Cameroon
  41. Costus glaucus Maas - from Nicaragua to Colombia
  42. Costus guanaiensis Rusby - Latin America, West Indies
  43. Costus juruanus K.Schum. - N Brazil
  44. Costus laevis Ruiz & Pav. - from Belize to Bolivia
  45. Costus lasius Loes. - from Nicaragua to Peru
  46. Costus lateriflorus Baker - Nigeria, Gabon
  47. Costus le-testui Pellegr - Cameroon, Gabon, Congo Rep
  48. Costus ledermannii Loes. - Cameroon
  49. Costus leucanthus Maas - Colombia, Ecuador
  50. Costus ligularis Baker - Cameroon, Gabon, Congo Rep
  51. Costus lima K.Schum. - from Honduras to Ecuador
  52. Costus loangensis H.Maas & Maas - Gabon
  53. Costus longebracteolatus Maas - N South America
  54. Costus lucanusianus J.Braun & K.Schum. - trop Africa
  55. Costus maboumiensis Pellegr. - Gabon, Congo Rep
  56. Costus macranthus K.Schum. - E + SE Africa
  57. Costus maculatus Roscoe - W + C Africa
  58. Costus malortieanus H.Wendl. - Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras
  59. Costus megalobractea K.Schum. - Cameroon
  60. Costus microcephalus K.Schum. - Borneo
  61. Costus montanus Maas - Costa Rica
  62. Costus mosaicus W.Bull - Zaïre
  63. Costus muluensis Meekiong, Ipor & Tawan - Sarawak
  64. Costus mulus Meekiong, Ipor & Tawan - Sarawak
  65. Costus nemotrichus K.Schum. - Cameroon
  66. Costus nitidus Maas - Costa Rica, Panama
  67. Costus nudicaulis Baker - Gabon
  68. Costus oblongus S.Q.Tong - Tibet, Yunnan
  69. Costus oligophyllus K.Schum. - Perak
  70. Costus osae Maas & H.Maas - Costa Rica, Colombia
  71. Costus phaeotrichus Loes. - Cameroon, Gabon
  72. Costus phyllocephalus K.Schum. - Zaïre, Congo Rep, Angola
  73. Costus pictus D.Don - Mexico, Central America
  74. Costus plicatus Maas - Costa Rica, Panama
  75. Costus plowmanii Maas - Colombia
  76. Costus productus Gleason ex Maas - Peru
  77. Costus pulverulentus C.Presl - from Tamaulipas to Ecuador
  78. Costus quasi-appendiculatus Woodson ex Maas - Bolivia
  79. Costus ricus Maas & H.Maas - Costa Rica
  80. Costus rumphianus Valeton ex K.Heyne - Maluku
  81. Costus sarmentosus Bojer - Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi
  82. Costus scaber Ruiz & Pav. - from Veracruz + Haiti to Bolivia
  83. Costus schlechteri H.J.P.Winkl. - W Africa
  84. Costus sepacuitensis Rowlee - Guatemala
  85. Costus spectabilis (Fenzl) K.Schum. - trop Africa
  86. Costus spicatus (Jacq.) Sw. - West Indies
  87. Costus spiralis (Jacq.) Roscoe - trop South America
  88. Costus sprucei Maas - N Brazil
  89. Costus stenophyllus Standl. + L.O.Williams - Costa Rica
  90. Costus subbiflorus K.Schum. - SE Africa
  91. Costus sulfureus K.Schum. - Sulawesi
  92. Costus talbotii Ridl. - Nigeria
  93. Costus tapenbeckianus J.Braun & K.Schum - Congo Rep, Cameroon, Gabon
  94. Costus tonkinensis Gagnep. - Vietnam, Guangdong, Guangxi, Yunnan
  95. Costus ubangiensis Gagnep. - Cen Afr Rep, Cameroon
  96. Costus ulei Loes. - Acre
  97. Costus vargasii Maas & H.Maas - Peru
  98. Costus varzearum Maas - N Brazil
  99. Costus villosissimus Jacq. - trop America
  100. Costus vinosus Maas - Panama
  101. Costus violaceus Koechlin - Gabon
  102. Costus viridis S.Q.Tong - Yunnan
  103. Costus wilsonii Maas - Panama, Costa Rica
  104. Costus woodsonii Maas - Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Colombia
  105. Costus zamoranus Steyerm. - Colombia, Ecuador
  106. Costus zingiberoides J.F.Macbr. - Loreto
Formerly placed here[1]

Numerous other species have been called Costus over the years, but are now regarded as members of other genera. Such genera include Alpinia, Amomum, Caulokaempferia, Chamaecostus, Dimerocostus, Hellenia, Paracostus, Renealmia, Tapeinochilos, etc.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
  2. ^ Linnaeus, Carl von. 1753. Species Plantarum 1: 2 in Latin
  3. ^ Tropicos, Costus L.
  4. ^ Flora of China Vol. 24 Page 320 闭鞘姜属 bi qiao jiang shu Costus Linnaeus
  5. ^ Specht, C. D. & D. W. Stevenson. 2006. A new phylogeny-based generic classification of Costaceae (Zingiberales). Taxon 55(1): 153–163.
  6. ^ Aweke, G., 2007. Costus afer Ker Gawl. In: Schmelzer, G.H. & Gurib-Fakim, A. (Editors). Prota 11(1): Medicinal plants/Plantes médicinales 1. [CD-Rom]. PROTA, Wageningen, Netherlands