Costus guanaiensis

22 Mar

Costus guanaiensis (16/01/2016, Kew Gardens, London)

Costus guanaiensis (16/01/2016, Kew Gardens, London)

Position: Full sun to partial shade

Flowering period: Late summer

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 3m

Eventual Spread: 1m

Hardiness: 10a, 10b, 11, 12, 13

Family: Costaceae

Costus guanaiensis is a variable tropical evergreen perennial with a upright habit. Its dark green leaves are elliptic with entire margins, up to 30cm long and 10cm across. Its white flowers have pink tinges and emerge from green bracts and appear terminally. Its fruit. Its roots contain rhizomes which aids its spread.

Costus guanaiensis Leaf (16/01/2016, Kew Gardens, London)

Costus guanaiensis Leaf (16/01/2016, Kew Gardens, London)

Costus guanaiensis, commonly known as Spiral Ginger, is native to Bolivia, Mexico, Venezuela, Peru, Brazil and some of the Caribbean islands. In its native habitat it grows in moist well lit thickets.

The etymological root of the binomial name Costus is derived from the Sanskrit name ‘Kushtha’. Guanaiensis is derived from the name of the town Guanay, in Bolivia.

The landscape architect may find Costus guanaiensis useful as a large specimen foliage houseplant with attrative flowers suitable for bright locations. It would also be suitable for atrium and conservatory planting schemes.

Ecologically, Costus guanaiensis is attractive to some pollinating insects.

Costus guanaiensis Stem (16/01/2016, Kew Gardens, London)

Costus guanaiensis Stem (16/01/2016, Kew Gardens, London)

Costus guanaiensis prefers moist, humus rich, fertile, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil.

When maintaining Costus guanaiensis as a houseplant its soil should be watered regularly. Watering should be reduced during the winter months. Its preferred active growing temperature rages from between 16ºc to 24ºc, it will tolerate temperatures to near freezing. Feeding with weak fertiliser solution should be carried out once a month during the growing season.

DAVIS Landscape Architecture

Landscape Architecture

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