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  1. Family: Costaceae Nakai
    1. Genus: Costus L.
      1. Costus afer Ker Gawl.

        This species is accepted, and its native range is Tropical Africa.

    [FWTA]

    Zingiberaceae, F. N. Hepper. Flora of West Tropical Africa 3:1. 1968

    Habit
    Tall perennial herb with leafy stems up to 10 ft. high
    Flowers
    Flowers white and yellow with pink tip in succulent terminal inflorescences.
    [FTEA]

    Zingiberaceae, J.M. Lock. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 1985

    Habit
    Perennial herb with erect leafy stems 2-4 m. tall.
    Leaves
    Leaves elliptic to obovate, 15-35 × 3.5-9.5 cm., apex acuminate, narrowed below to the rounded or subcordate base, the margin sparsely ascending-ciliate, the lamina otherwise usually glabrous but sometimes sparsely appressed pubescent beneath; petiole 4-12 mm. long; ligule coriaceous, green in life, 4-8 mm. long, glabrous; sheaths lightly striate when dry, in life green, often with purple blotches.
    Inflorescences
    Inflorescences (?always) terminal on the leafy shoots; floral bracts oblong, convex, truncate to rounded at the apex, ± 3.5 × 3 cm., the upper ones rather smaller, green with purple markings, each subtending 2 fully developed flowers; bracteoles boat-shaped, with a thickened rigid keel, pale green with pink markings and with a thin pink scarious margin, ± 2.5 × 0.8 cm.
    Calyx
    Calyx funnel-shaped, 1.7-2 cm. long, with 3 triangular teeth 5 mm. long, with a pink scarious margin; calyx-teeth project 2-3 mm. beyond the bracts after anthesis.
    Corolla
    Corolla tube ± 2 cm. long, hairy inside; petals white, semi-transparent, oblong-ovate, 3-4 × 1.2-1.4 cm., hooded at apex; labellum broadly triangular, funnel-shaped, ±2.5 cm. long and wide, white, sometimes tinged pink, with a rich orange-yellow central line which extends to the base of the tube.
    Stamens
    Stamen ovate, ± 3 × 1.2 cm., white; anthers 7-8 mm. long.
    Note
    Mature fruit and seeds not seen.
    Habitat
    Moist places in forest, and at forest edges; 190-1200 m.
    Distribution
    tropical Africa westwards to Sierra Leone K7 T1 T4 T7 U4
    [FTEA]

    Zingiberaceae, J.M. Lock. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 1985

    Habit
    Perennial herb with erect leafy stems 1.5-3.5 m. tall.
    Leaves
    Leaves elliptic to obovate, 14-31 × 4-10 cm., apex acuminate, narrowed below to the rounded or subcordate base, appressed pubescent on the midrib beneath and ascending pilose on the margins, otherwise glabrous; petiole 3-10 mm. long; ligule coriaceous, 5-12 mm. long, with a marginal fringe of arachnose hairs, and sometimes with a line of hairs partially surrounding the stem at the ligule-base; sheaths striate, glabrous.
    Inflorescences
    Inflorescences usually terminal on the leafy shoots, but sometimes borne on separate leafless bracteate shoots; floral bracts broadly obovate, strongly convex, rounded to truncate at the apex, 2-2.5 × 1-1.5 cm., each subtending a single flower; bracteole boat-shaped, coriaceous, 1.8-2 × 0.5-0.8 cm.
    Calyx
    Calyx tubular, 1.4-1.5 cm. long, the lobes ± 3 mm. long, incurved.
    Corolla
    Corolla-tube 1.4-1.7 cm. long, hairy inside; petals white, oblong to obovate, 3-3.2 × 1-1.2 cm., hooded and sometimes apiculate or retuse at apex; labellum broadly triangular, funnel-shaped, ± 4 cm. long and wide, white, flushed pink at the apex and with a yellow patch in the centre.
    Stamens
    Stamen elliptic, 2-2.5 × 1-1.2 cm.; anthers ± 9 mm. long.
    Fruits
    Fruit obovoid, ± 12 × 9 mm.
    Seeds
    Seeds oblong, ± 2 × 1 mm., dark grey, finely striate.
    Habitat
    Forest, usually near water; 0-1100 m.
    Distribution
    not known elsewhere K7 P T3 T6 Z
    [FWTA]

    Zingiberaceae, F. N. Hepper. Flora of West Tropical Africa 3:1. 1968

    Habit
    A herb with several leafy stems 3-8 ft. high
    Flowers
    Flowers in terminal heads, yellow or orange
    Ecology
    In forest.
    [FTEA]

    Zingiberaceae, J.M. Lock. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 1985

    Habit
    Perennial herb with erect leafy stems 2-5 m. tall.
    Leaves
    Leaves elliptic, 20-25 × 4.5-5.5 cm., apex acuminate, narrowed below to the cuneate to subcordate base, glabrous except for a line of ascending marginal hairs; petiole 3-5 mm. long; ligule coriaceous, 5-7 mm. long, glabrous; sheaths striate when dry, glabrous.
    Inflorescences
    Inflorescences terminal on the leafy shoots, or sometimes (Cribb et al. 11062) terminating separate basal shoots; floral bracts broadly obovate, strongly convex, apiculate, ± 2.5 × 2 cm., each subtending a single flower; bracteoles boat-shaped, keeled, ± 2.5 × 1 cm.
    Calyx
    Calyx funnel-shaped, not exceeding the bracts, ± 1.7 cm. long, with 3 obtuse teeth ± 4 mm. long.
    Corolla
    Corolla-tube ±1.3 cm. long, hairy inside; petals white, oblong, apiculate, ± 3.5 × 1.5 cm., narrowing slightly towards the base; labellum broadly triangular, funnel-shaped, ± 3.5 × 3 cm., white with a reddish tip and a central yellow mark.
    Stamens
    Stamen narrowly ovate, ± 3 × 1 cm.; anthers ± 9 mm. long.
    Fruits
    Fruit obovoid, ± 12 mm. long.
    Seeds
    Seeds oblong, ± 2 mm. long, grey, finely striate.
    Habitat
    Riverine forest; 300-1070 m.
    Distribution
    not known elsewhere T3 T4 T6

    Images

    Distribution

    Native to:

    Angola, Benin, Burkina, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Repu, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Gulf of Guinea Is., Ivory Coast, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zaïre, Zimbabwe

    Synonyms

    Other Data

    Costus afer Ker Gawl. appears in other Kew resources:

    Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
    Jan 1, 2013 unknown [s.n.], Congo K000099626 Unknown type material
    Jan 1, 2013 Schweinfurth, G. [204], Central African Republic K000099629 lectotype
    Jan 1, 2013 Selwyn [s.n.], Guinea K000099619
    Jan 1, 2012 Cable, S. [1484], Cameroon K000024810
    Aug 1, 2007 Mackinder, B. [156], Cameroon K000025738
    Oct 20, 1983 Schweinfurth, G. [204], Central African Republic K000099635 lectotype
    Uganda 11105.000
    Gillett, J.B. [15258], Nigeria 25906.000
    Dawkins, H.C. [379], Uganda 18877.000
    Troupin, G. [2512], Congo, DRC 18199.000
    Dalziel, J.M. [831], Nigeria 22183.000
    Chandler, P. [2776], Uganda 18197.000
    Jeffrey, C. [85], Gabon 17096.000
    Forman, L. [644], Borneo 39290.000
    Moult, P.H. [22], Ethiopia 36243.000
    Drummond, R.B. [1200], Kenya Costus sarmentosus 17362.000
    Drummond, R.B. [1705], Tanzania Costus sarmentosus 17365.000
    Faulkner, H. [1111], Tanzania Costus sarmentosus 18196.000
    Jan 1, 2014 Schweinfurth, G. [3268], Sudan Costus trachyphyllus K000099631 syntype
    Jan 1, 2014 Schweinfurth, G. [206], Sudan Costus trachyphyllus K000099630 lectotype
    Cribb [11062], Tanzania Costus subbiflorus 45276.000

    Bibliography

    First published in Bot. Reg. 8: t. 683 (1823)

    Accepted by

    • Maas-van de Kamer, H., Maas, P.J.M., Wieringa, J.J. & Specht, C.D. (2016). Monograph of African Costaceae Blumea 61: 280-318.
    • Darbyshire, I., Kordofani, M., Farag, I., Candiga, R. & Pickering, H. (eds.) (2015). The Plants of Sudan and South Sudan: 1-400. Kew publishing, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
    • Velayos, M., Aedo, C., Cabezas, F., de la Estrella, M., Barberá, P. & Fero, M. (eds.) (2014). Flora de Guinea Ecuatorial 11: 1-416. Consejo superior de investigaciones científicas, Real jardín botánico, Madrid.
    • Thiombiano, A., Schmidt, M., Dressler, S., Ouédraogo, A., Hahn, K. & Zizka, G. (2012). Catalogue des plantes vasculaires du Burkina Faso Boissiera 65: 1-391.
    • Timberlake, J.R. & Martins, E.S. (eds.) (2010). Flora Zambesiaca 13(4): 1-151. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
    • Lejoy, J., Ndjele, M.-B. & Geerinck, D. (2010). Catalogue-flore des plantes vasculaires des districts de Kisangani et de la Tshopo (RD Congo) Taxonomania. Revue de Taxonomie et de Nomenclature Botaniques 30: 1-307.
    • Catarino, L., Martins, E.S., Diniz, M.A. & Pinto-Basto, M.F. (2006). Check-list da flora vascular do parque natural das Lagos de Cufada (Guiné-Bissau) Garcia de Orta, Série de Botânica 17: 97-141.
    • Sosef, M.S.M. & al. (2006). Check-list des plantes vasculaires du Gabon Scripta Botanica Belgica 35: 1-438.
    • Akoègninou, A., van der Burg, W.J. & van der Maesen, L.J.G. (eds.) (2006). Flore Analytique du Bénin: 1-1034. Backhuys Publishers.
    • Sita, P. & Moutsambote, J.-M. (2005). Catalogue des plantes vasculaires du Congo, ed. sept. 2005: 1-158. ORSTOM, Centre de Brazzaville.
    • Govaerts, R. (1999). World Checklist of Seed Plants 3(1, 2a & 2b): 1-1532. MIM, Deurne.
    • Brunel, J.F., Hiepo, P. & Scholz, H. (eds.) (1984). Flore Analytique du Togo Phanérogames: 1-751. GTZ, Eschborn.

    Literature

    Flora of West Tropical Africa

    • Koechlin in Fl. Cam. 4: 92, t. 20.
    • Koechlin in Fl. Gabon 9: 84, t. 3
    • F.W.T.A., ed. 1, 2: 334
    • Chev. Bot. 627
    • K. Schum. in Engl., Pflanzenr. 4, 46: 392 (1904)
    • F.T.A. 7: 299
    • Hook. in Bot. Mag. t. 4979
    • in Bot. Beg. t. 683 (1823)

    Kew Backbone Distributions

    • Maas-van de Kamer, H., Maas, P.J.M., Wieringa, J.J. & Specht, C.D. (2016). Monograph of African Costaceae Blumea 61: 280-318.
    • Velayos, M., Aedo, C., Cabezas, F., de la Estrella, M., Barberá, P. & Fero, M. (eds.) (2014). Flora de Guinea Ecuatorial 11: 1-416. Consejo superior de investigaciones científicas, Real jardín botánico, Madrid.
    • Thiombiano, A., Schmidt, M., Dressler, S., Ouédraogo, A., Hahn, K. & Zizka, G. (2012). Catalogue des plantes vasculaires du Burkina Faso Boissiera 65: 1-391.
    • Timberlake, J.R. & Martins, E.S. (eds.) (2010). Flora Zambesiaca 13(4): 1-151. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
    • Akoègninou, A., van der Burg, W.J. & van der Maesen, L.J.G. (eds.) (2006). Flore Analytique du Bénin: 1-1034. Backhuys Publishers.
    • Sita, P. & Moutsambote, J.-M. (2005). Catalogue des plantes vasculaires du Congo, ed. sept. 2005: 1-158. ORSTOM, Centre de Brazzaville.
    • Brunel, J.F., Hiepo, P. & Scholz, H. (eds.) (1984). Flore Analytique du Togo Phanérogames: 1-751. GTZ, Eschborn.

    Flora of Tropical East Africa

    • Lock in Kew Bulletin 39: 842 (1984).
    • Hepper in Flora of West Tropical Africa, ed. 2, 3: 78 (1968).
    • J. Koechlin, Fl. Cameroun 4: 92 (1965).
    • J. Koechlin in Fl. Gabon 9: 84 (1964)
    • F. W. Andr., The Flowering Plants of the Sudan 3: 253 (1956).
    • K. Schum. in A. Engler, Das Pflanzenreich IV. 46: 392 (1904).
    • Ker-Gawl. in Bot. Reg. 8, t. 683 (1823).

    Sources

    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

    Flora of West Tropical Africa
    Flora of West Tropical Africa
    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

    Herbarium Catalogue Specimens
    'The Herbarium Catalogue, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet http://www.kew.org/herbcat [accessed on Day Month Year]'. Please enter the date on which you consulted the system.
    Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

    Kew Backbone Distributions
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2020. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
    © Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

    Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2020. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
    © Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

    Kew Science Photographs
    Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/