|This article needs additional citations for verification. (October 2010)|
Cheilocostus speciosus or (syn. Costus speciosus) or crêpe ginger is possibly the best known cultivated species of the genus Costus. This plant is native to southeast Asia and surrounding regions, from India to China to Queensland, It is especially common on the Greater Sunda Islands in Indonesia. It is also reportedly naturalized in Mauritius, Réunion, Fiji, Hawaii, Costa Rica, Belize, Melanesia, Micronesia, and the West Indies.
Cheilocostus speciosus differs from the common ginger by having only one row of spirally arranged leaves.
The species reproduces vegetatively by rhizome. Birds disperse seeds when they feed on the fruits.
Habitat: Roadside ditch, low lying areas in the forest. Flowering season starts after rainy season, October to December.
The plant has many historical uses in Ayurveda, where the rhizome has been used to treat fever, rash, asthma, bronchitis, and intestinal worms. It is mentioned in the Kama Sutra as an ingredient in a cosmetic to be used on the eyelashes to increase sexual attractiveness.
Cheilocostus speciosus has a large number of common names in many languages, including isebsab (Palauan), keu or kemuk or keumul (Bengali), keukand (Hindi), Thebu (Sinhala), pakarmula (Gujarati), pushkarmula (Marathi and Sanskrit),Jom Lakhuti (Assamese) kostam (Tamil), "Kosta" in Kannada, "Kostamu" in Telugu.
- "Cheilocostus speciosus (J.König) C.Specht". The Plant List. Retrieved 14 July 2013.
- Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families, Hellenia speciosa
- Pacific Island Invasive Species
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Cheilocostus speciosus.|
|This Zingiberales-related article is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.|