From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Tapeinochilos ananassae2.jpg
Tapeinochilos ananassae of the family Costaceae
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
(unranked): Commelinids
Order: Zingiberales
Family: Costaceae

Costaceae or the Costus Family is a family of pantropical monocots. They belong to the order Zingiberales, which contains other horticulturally and economically important plants such as the banana (Musaceae), bird-of-paradise (Strelitziaceae), and edible ginger (Zingiberaceae). The seven genera contain about 100 species (1 in Monocostus, 2 in Dimerocostus, 16 in Tapeinochilos, 2 in Paracostus, ca. 8 in Chamaecostus, ca. 4 in Cheilocostus, ca. 80 in Costus) and are found in tropical climates of Asia, Africa, and Central/South America.

Costaceae are unique from other members of Zingiberales in that its species have 5 fused staminodes, rather than 2, and Costaceae contain no aromatic oils. The fused infertile stamen form a large petalloid labellum that often functions to attract pollinators. The flowers are generally solitary or aggregated in inflorescences. Inflorescences are arranged in a terminal head or spike, except for Monocostus. The simple leaves are entire and spirally arranged, with those toward base of the stem usually bladeless. Leaf bases have a closed sheath with a ligule, or projection at the top of the sheath. Fruit is a berry or capsule. The rhizome is fleshy with tuberous roots.

Tapeinochilos ananassae (wax ginger)
Costus speciosus (crape ginger)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Angiosperm Phylogeny Group (2009). "An update of the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group classification for the orders and families of flowering plants: APG III" (PDF). Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 161 (2): 105–121. doi:10.1111/j.1095-8339.2009.00996.x. Retrieved 2013-06-26.