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What

Spiral Gingers Genus Costus

Observer

selvadero

Date

September 6, 2018 03:30 PM EDT

Description

Form 2 - hairy form, probably Costus pulverulentus

We visited Santa Maria Chimalapa and went with Clemente (brother of Herbierto) to look for plants in the forests nearby. We did not see any Costus in flower down along the arroyo 4 km NE of town. Closer to town, and to the north we found this plant with an old inflorescence. The bracts do not have fibrous margins but the calyx is long, indicating C. pulverulentus.

The more I have analyzed the data and photos from these observations in Veracruz and Oaxaca, the less certain I am of their identity. Most of these plants have characters of both species - Costus scaber and Costus pulverulentus. NONE of the plants seen on this trip had the classic Costus pulverulentus flower with the stamen far extended beyond the labellum. The plants I did see in flower all had flowers closer to Costus scaber.

Photos / Sounds

What

Spiral Gingers Genus Costus

Observer

selvadero

Date

September 5, 2018 01:31 PM EDT

Description

Form 2 - hairy form, probably Costus pulverulentus

Of all the plants I observed on this trip, this plant looked most like C. pulverulentus with the clearly fibrous margins to the bracts. The flower however, is certainly not of the form typical in plants from Central America in this species.

The more I have analyzed the data and photos from these observations in Veracruz and Oaxaca, the less certain I am of their identity. Most of these plants have characters of both species - Costus scaber and Costus pulverulentus. NONE of the plants seen on this trip had the classic Costus pulverulentus flower with the stamen far extended beyond the labellum. The plants I did see in flower all had flowers closer to Costus scaber.

Photos / Sounds

What

Spiral Gingers Genus Costus

Observer

selvadero

Date

September 4, 2018 02:39 PM EDT

Description

Form 2 - hairy form, probably Costus pulverulentus

This plant found south of La Esmeralda has a flower with an extended stamen and fusiform shape like C. pulverulentus, but the bracts were entire, clearly lacking the fibrous margins which is another character C. pulverulentus is known for. The flower was oriented abaxially with an angle of about 60°characteristic of C. scaber.

The more I have analyzed the data and photos from these observations in Veracruz and Oaxaca, the less certain I am of their identity. Most of these plants have characters of both species - Costus scaber and Costus pulverulentus. NONE of the plants seen on this trip had the classic Costus pulverulentus flower with the stamen far extended beyond the labellum. The plants I did see in flower all had flowers closer to Costus scaber.

Photos / Sounds

What

Spiral Gingers Genus Costus

Observer

selvadero

Date

September 4, 2018 08:29 AM EDT

Description

Form 2 - hairy form, probably Costus pulverulentus

Note that this plant had a very different calyx, deeply cut with long acute triangular lobes.

The more I have analyzed the data and photos from these observations in Veracruz and Oaxaca, the less certain I am of their identity. Most of these plants have characters of both species - Costus scaber and Costus pulverulentus. NONE of the plants seen on this trip had the classic Costus pulverulentus flower with the stamen far extended beyond the labellum. The plants I did see in flower all had flowers closer to Costus scaber.

Photos / Sounds

What

Spiral Gingers Genus Costus

Observer

selvadero

Date

September 3, 2018 12:22 PM EDT

Description

Form 2 - hairy form, probably Costus pulverulentus

This plant was seen just a hundred meters or so distant from the glabrous plant.

The more I have analyzed the data and photos from these observations in Veracruz and Oaxaca, the less certain I am of their identity. Most of these plants have characters of both species - Costus scaber and Costus pulverulentus. NONE of the plants seen on this trip had the classic Costus pulverulentus flower with the stamen far extended beyond the labellum. The plants I did see in flower all had flowers closer to Costus scaber.

Photos / Sounds

What

Spiral Gingers Genus Costus

Observer

selvadero

Date

September 3, 2018 11:24 AM EDT

Description

Form 1 - glabrous form, probably Costus scaber

With permission from the comisario, Don Pablo took us into the mountains NE of Chachijapa. Here we found both the glabrous form and the hairy form of these plants.

The more I have analyzed the data and photos from these observations in Veracruz and Oaxaca, the less certain I am of their identity. Most of these plants have characters of both species - Costus scaber and Costus pulverulentus. NONE of the plants seen on this trip had the classic Costus pulverulentus flower with the stamen far extended beyond the labellum. The plants I did see in flower all had flowers closer to Costus scaber.

Photos / Sounds

What

Spiral Gingers Genus Costus

Observer

selvadero

Date

September 3, 2018 09:12 AM EDT

Description

Form 2 - hairy form, probably Costus pulverulentus

This plant has the fusiform shaped inflorescence that would indicate C. pulverulentus, especially in the older plants. The flower (as in the others) does not have the stamen extended far beyond the labellum, exposing the thecae, as do the plants found farther south in Central America.

The more I have analyzed the data and photos from these observations in Veracruz and Oaxaca, the less certain I am of their identity. Most of these plants have characters of both species - Costus scaber and Costus pulverulentus. NONE of the plants seen on this trip had the classic Costus pulverulentus flower with the stamen far extended beyond the labellum. The plants I did see in flower all had flowers closer to Costus scaber.

Photos / Sounds

What

Spiral Gingers Genus Costus

Observer

selvadero

Date

September 3, 2018 07:42 AM EDT

Description

Form 2 - hairy form, probably Costus pulverulentus

This plant immediately struck me as being Costus scaber, based on the general shape of the inflorescence, but it seems to have fibrous margins to the bracts and the angle of the flower is more adaxial than the classic C. scaber.

The more I have analyzed the data and photos from these observations in Veracruz and Oaxaca, the less certain I am of their identity. Most of these plants have characters of both species - Costus scaber and Costus pulverulentus. NONE of the plants seen on this trip had the classic Costus pulverulentus flower with the stamen far extended beyond the labellum. The plants I did see in flower all had flowers closer to Costus scaber.

Photos / Sounds

What

Spiral Gingers Genus Costus

Observer

selvadero

Date

September 3, 2018 07:02 AM EDT

Description

Form 2 - hairy form, probably Costus pulverulentus

This plant found a short distance down the road from La Esmeralda to Chachijapa has long fusiform shaped inflorescence that looks very much like C. pulverulentus, but it also has a very short calyx also making it consistent with Costus scaber. Most of the hair forms seen had scabrous hairs on the upper leaf surfaces, but this one was nearly glabrous on the upper side. The lower side was velutinous.

The more I have analyzed the data and photos from these observations in Veracruz and Oaxaca, the less certain I am of their identity. Most of these plants have characters of both species - Costus scaber and Costus pulverulentus. NONE of the plants seen on this trip had the classic Costus pulverulentus flower with the stamen far extended beyond the labellum. The plants I did see in flower all had flowers closer to Costus scaber.

Photos / Sounds

What

Spiral Gingers Genus Costus

Observer

selvadero

Date

September 4, 2018 11:26 AM EDT

Description

Costus sp. Esmeralda
The largest plant of this undescribed species that we found was in a Karst area very near the town. The plant was growing on a large rock, high on a mound of Karst outcrop, in a place where it would have been completely dry during the dry season. There were two old inflorescences but no fresh flowers. I took detailed measurements and photographs of this plant.

Photos / Sounds

What

Spiral Gingers Genus Costus

Observer

selvadero

Date

September 3, 2018 12:59 PM EDT

Description

Costus sp. Esmeralda
This undescribed species was also found in the mountains northeast of the village of Chachijapa. It was not common there but our guide climbed up on the large boulders of the waterfall and found a large plant (not in flower) and brought down a couple of leaves for me.

Photos / Sounds

What

Spiral Gingers Genus Costus

Observer

selvadero

Date

September 2, 2018 05:10 PM EDT

Description

Costus sp. Esmeralda
This plant appears to be closest to Costus dirzoi or Costus pictus, but I believe it to be an undescribed species based on its unique habitat. It was not in flower, but was found growing only on Karst outcrops, or dead logs, growing as a semi-epiphyte. It was most common in the area around Esmeralda, but a few plants were found elsewhere in the region, and only growing on large calcareous boulders. At this site, where the community has created a tourist facility to visit the local caves, most of these plants had purplish undersides to the leaves.

Photos / Sounds

What

Spiral Gingers Genus Costus

Observer

selvadero

Date

September 2, 2018 08:06 AM EDT

Description

Form 2 - hairy form, probably Costus pulverulentus

I went to Santa Marta specifically to look for plants matching this Nees No. 24674 collection, which Paul Maas was uncertain of its identification from the herbarium sheet. Unfortunately, the agente of the village was out of town and we were unable to get permission to enter the forest. However, along the road I found this plant which seems to match the plant and description on the herbarium sheet. It has the same cordate leaf base and short ligule. It was not in flower but to me it seems closest to C. pulverulentus, or possibly to C. scaber in the forms I saw elsewhere in the region.

Photos / Sounds

Observer

selvadero

Date

September 1, 2018 04:24 PM EDT

Description

This plant was not in flower but based on the short ligule, glabrous parts, undulated margins of the leaves, small inflorescence just starting to form with green bracts, and especially with the patterned stem in combination with those characters, I believe this to be Costus pictus in the form often found in Belize.

Photos / Sounds

Observer

selvadero

Date

August 31, 2018 05:25 PM EDT

Description

There is a beautiful little reserve that has been established by the community of Benito Juarez de Catemaco, on the southeast side of the big lake. Costus dirzoi was rather common in this reserve but none of the plants were in flower, confirming that this species flowers in the dry season instead of the rainy season. The vegetative form is easy to recognize with it's broad, round leaves, glabrous and slightly plicate. It is a short plant, rarely reaching more than a meter in height.

Photos / Sounds

What

Spiral Gingers Genus Costus

Observer

selvadero

Date

August 31, 2018 02:28 PM EDT

Description

Form 2 - hairy form, probably Costus pulverulentus

This form seems to be more common than Form 1 in the Los Tuxtlas region. It has several characters making it closer to C. pulverulentus than to C. scaber, but it is quite unlike the forms of Costus pulverulentus found farther south in Central America. The stamen is only slightly exceeding the labellum, and it barely exposes the thecae. The shape of more mature plants is fusiform, but younger inflorescences look very much like C. scaber. The bract margins are not fibrous as would be expected for C. pulverulentus.

The form found here has very short ligules and petioles with arachnid fibers on the ligule margin. The leaves are clearly cordate at the base and short acuminate at the apex. The upper surface is scabrous to the touch long, thick hairs, and velutinous on the undersides. The upper side midrib has a line of hairs as would be found on C. scaber. The calyx is short and wide - more like C. scaber than the typical C. pulverulentus.

Photos / Sounds

What

Spiral Gingers Genus Costus

Observer

selvadero

Date

August 31, 2018 09:07 AM EDT

Description

Form 1 - glabrous form, probably Costus scaber

This plant at Estación Los Tuxtlas best fits as the species Costus scaber, however there are several very similar looking plants with differences in the indumenta, ligule and petiole length, shape of the leaves, and a few other characters that make them easily confused with Costus pulverulentus.

This form has a fairly long ligule and long petiole and is glabrous. The bracts lack the fibrous margins that would characterize C. pulverulentus, so I believe it is C. scaber. The leaves are long acuminate at the apex and cuneate to the base.

Photos / Sounds

Observer

selvadero

Date

August 30, 2018 04:46 PM EDT

Description

Observed in and around the Estación de Biologia Tropical Los Tuxtlas. It was quite common here but none of the plants were in flower. The director, Rosamond Coates, told me that it flowers in the dry season in May and June. This is unusual for Costus. Most species flower in the rainy season.

Photos / Sounds

What

Spiral Gingers Genus Costus

Observer

selvadero

Date

July 30, 2018 10:31 AM EDT

Description

This form is extremely common in Alta Verapaz, in Sepacuité and the entire region. This species is called "pacuité" in the Mayan language "Kekchi" (sometimes spelled Q'eq-chí). The community's name Sepacuité means "place where grows pacuité"'.

I am not absolutely sure whether this should be placed in Costus scaber or in Costus pulverulentus. It has a flower form with the stamen not much exceeding the labellum and looking to me like C. scaber. However, the more or less fusiform shape of the inflorescence and the fibrous margins to the bracts would indicate C. pulverulentus.

Photos / Sounds

Observer

selvadero

Date

July 31, 2018 11:11 AM EDT

Description

Costus pictus in the patterned stem form. There were several plants at this site, growing up to 4 meters tall. Some were flowering both terminally and at the base on a separate shoot. There was a very determined bee going after the nectar while I was photographing the flower details.

Photos / Sounds

What

Spiral Gingers Genus Costus

Observer

selvadero

Date

July 31, 2018 11:08 AM EDT

Description

This is an undescribed species that is also found in Chiapas, Mexico. It is similar to Costus guanaiensis and has some affinity to Costus dirzoi. It is pending publication under a new species name in the near future.

Photos / Sounds

Observer

selvadero

Date

July 31, 2018 10:30 AM EDT

Description

Costus pictus in the patterned stem form. This plant was about 2 meters tall and flowering at the base on a separate shoot.

Photos / Sounds

Observer

selvadero

Date

July 30, 2018 10:53 AM EDT

Description

Costus sepacuitensis Rowlee - Collected by Robert Griggs in 1902, named and described by W. W. Rowlee in 1922, this species form was virtually unknown to botany, listed as an "insufficiently known species" in the Maas monograph. I saw this species in 2017 in Oaxaca, Mexico and it was thought to be a new and undescribed species. It is characterized by its separate basal inflorescence, large leaves, pubescence of all vegetative parts, and the deeply split lobes of the calyx (see last photo). Rowlee did not see the flower and it was not described at all until now, by these first ever photos of this species.

It is thought to be quite rare, possibly endangered, and the GPS coordinates here have been disguised from the exact location.

Photos / Sounds

What

Spiral Gingers Genus Costus

Observer

selvadero

Date

July 29, 2018 12:34 PM EDT

Description

Of the currently published species, this is closest to Costus guanaiensis, but there are some important differences and soon this will be described and published as a new species. The type for the new species is from Chiapas in Mexico, and this observation adds Guatemala to its documented range.

Photos / Sounds

Observer

selvadero

Date

July 28, 2018 03:12 PM EDT

Description

This giant form of Costus laevis was 5-6 meters tall here. It is very similar to a form I found in Costa Rica at Pocosol in the Tilaran mountains.

Photos / Sounds

Observer

selvadero

Date

June 25, 2018 04:42 PM EDT

Description

When I first saw this plant, I thought it was Costus arabicus, but after seeing the variability of the Costus macrostrobilus plants here, I now believe it is simply a variation of that species with very small bract appendages, indistinct from the bracts, and with flowers lacking the normal red stripes on the labellum. The leaves on this plant had similar indumenta as the other C. macrostrobilus found here, but with smaller leaves measuring about 34 cm long and 12 cm wide.

Photos / Sounds

Observer

selvadero

Date

June 26, 2018 11:17 AM EDT

Description

This observation of Costus macrostrobilus was more typical of the plant form found at the species' type locality in Puerto Rico. It has a white corolla and distinct red stripes on the labellum. The scabrous hairs on the upper sides of the leaves were variable in density. The undersides were soft and felty feeling. The leaves on all these plants were quite large measuring 51-60 cm in length and 14-18 cm in width. The bract appendages were of varying sizes, but on most plants they were triangular in shape and only somewhat distinct from the bract. Most of the C. macrostrobilus plants found at Asa Wright were similar to these photos.

Photos / Sounds

Observer

selvadero

Date

June 27, 2018 10:03 AM EDT

Description

Currently this is classified as a variety of Costus guanaiensis, but in an upcoming revision to the family it will revert to its original type as a separate species of Costus macrostrobilus. I went to Trinidad specifically to see this species and found it to be polymorphic, with varying shapes and sizes to the bract appendages and variable indumenta on the upper sides of the leaves. This observation was a plant similar to the form found in Central America and the western parts of Colombia and Ecuador. The bract appendages are discreet from the bracts, rounded in shape and have a pungent apex. The flowers on this plant were yellowish in color in contrast to other plants with nearly pure white flowers.

Photos / Sounds

Observer

selvadero

Date

June 26, 2018 06:50 AM EDT

Description

This was the most common species of Costaceae found in this region. It is consistent in form with plants I have seen in other countries in South America.

Photos / Sounds

Observer

selvadero

Date

March 5, 2018 09:56 AM EST

Description

This form of Costus beckii has the cultivar name 'Alan's Red'.

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