Thursday, February 21, 2013

Costus

 

These are Costus I spotted at my aunt's backyard.  Costus are easily distinguished from other commonly cultivated gingers because the leaves spiral around the main stem like a circular stairway, the reason why they are called "spiral gingers".  Costus spicatus is a species of herbaceous plant in the Costaceae family, although sometimes, they are listed with other gingers in the family Zingiberaceae.  A native to South America and the Caribbean, it grows in the sun if kept moist and reaches the height of 6 to 7 feet.  Leaves are about a foot long and about 4 inches wide.

It is known as Cana-de-Macaco, Spiked Spiralflag, Indian Head Ginger and French Kiss.


Costus spicatus produces a short cylindrical red cone with red-orange flowers emerging one at a time, long lasting and used as a cut flower. These plants often have close interactions with ants. The plant makes a sugary nectar which is attractive to many different kinds of ants. Ants protect the developing seeds which are under the bracts from insect enemies. Some plants have very specialized ants: they form an alliance only with one ant species, that not only get food from the plant but also get a place to nest.

“The saddest people I've ever met in life are the ones who don't care deeply about anything at all. Passion and satisfaction go hand in hand, and without them, any happiness is only temporary, because there's nothing to make it last.” ~ Nicholas Sparks, Dear John

 
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18 comments:

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

Those are beautiful.

EG CameraGirl said...

Six to seven feet tall is a BIG plant!

Gunilla Bäck said...

Very pretty!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

That's a ginger plant? How very interesting. Also the information about the ants. I really enjoyed this post.

Jesh St Germain said...

Thanks for the info! Don't know much about gingers:) Pretty andtall!

Jama said...

Very pretty.

Dianne said...

The clarity in these shots is wonderful.

guild-rez said...

I admired ginger plants during our vacations in the Dominican Republic. Very impressive plants and beautiful flowers.

Birgitta said...

Beautiful flower photos!

bettyl said...

The things we learn on the internet! Nice photos.

Sleepshort said...

Lovely post. And very informative too. Thanks.
I've been growing Costus Apackitus recently. It seems almost human....

DeniseinVA said...

Thank you for sharing your post with us at Today's Flowers. Your photos are always lovely but I also found the information about the ants very interesting. Wishing you a great weekend :)

Carver said...

The flowers are beautiful and I love the quote.

vincibene said...

Beautiful series and very interesting to read about the ants.

Laura said...

really beautiful!

Jidhu Jose said...

french kiss?

Carletta said...

Beautiful buds!
Nicholas Sparks is a favorite of mine - lovely quote!

NatureFootstep said...

a nice flower. :)