African Plant Database

Costus afer Ker Gawl.
Family : Zingiberaceae
Protologue : Bot. Reg. 8: t. 683 (1822 [1823])
Information on the genus : Costus
Status for TA : accepted (present)
Synonym(s) Homotypic
 Costus sarmentosus Bojer (1835)
Synonym(s) Heterotypic
=Costus deistelii K. Schum. (1904)
=Costus edulis De Wild. & T. Durand (1900)
=Costus littoralis K. Schum. (1904)
=Costus megalobractea K. Schum.
=Costus subbiflorus K. Schum. (1904) Hiltje Maas in herbarium annotations
=Costus trachyphyllus K. Schum. (1892)
=Costus anomocalyx K. Schum. (1904)
=Costus bingervillensis A. Chev. (1920) p.p.
=Costus oblitterans K. Schum. (1904)
=*Costus insularis A. Chev. (1920)
=Costus pterometra K. Schum. (1904)
Ecology and distribution
Trop. Afr.
Biology : Perennial herb with erect spirally twisted leafy shoots 2-4 m tall
  see more in the book
Ecology : oist places in forest; forest edges; roadsides; swampy places in transitional forest with Aningeria altissima; riverine forest; wet muddy area in ravine; rain-forest; forming dense, large stands along rivers; 50-1700 m alt.
  Variable. Single cone-like inflorescences arise terminally either on leafy shoots or on leafless shoots directly from the rhizome (named C. prodigiosus). The inflorescence bracts bear either 2, or only 1 flower (named C. littoralis).
  Distinctive, decorative species with considerable horticultural appeal (cf. Flow. Pl. Afr., l.c.). Often planted in gardens; with a few cultivars. Stems are used to weave table mats. Plant also used in traditional medicine (see Burkill, l.c.).
  Bioko/Fernando Poo, S. Tomé, Príncipe.

Bibliography for Tropical Africa :
  • Exell, A. & Wild, H. (2010). Flora Zambesiaca: Mozambique, Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, Bechuanaland Protectorate. London Kew 13: 117
  • Cat. Pl. Vasc. Burkina Faso:40, 355 (2012)
  • Darbyshire, I. Kordofami, M. & al. (2015). The plants of Sudan and South Sudan, An annoted checklist. Kew Publishing

Bibliography for Southern Africa :
  • Checklist Flow. Pl. Sub-Saharan Africa : 726 (2006).

Bibliography other :
  • Maas-van de Kamer H., P.J.M. Maas & al. (2016). Monograph of African Costaceae. Blumea 61: 290 
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see under The International Plant Name Index
see under Flora of Mozambique
see under African Plants - a Photo Guide
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Record n°31900 modified 2009-05-27
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