Costus speciosus – Crepe Ginger
Scientific Name: Costus speciosus
Synonym: Cheilocostus speciosus
Common Names: Crepe Ginger, Canereed, Crape Ginger, Malay Ginger
Growth Habit: Herb/Forb
Hawaii Native Status: Introduced. This naturalized ornamental garden plant is native to Malaysia.
Flower Color: White
Height: Up to 10 feet (3 m) tall
Description: The showy flowers emerge from between dark red to reddish purple bracts on pinecone-shaped, terminal inflorescences. The individual flowers are trumpet-shaped, up to 4 inches (10 cm) across, and have 3 fused, crinkled, crepe paper-like, white petals and a smaller, yellow, curved, petal-like stamen. The flowers are followed by round, 2/3 inch (1.5 cm) in diameter, red seed capsules containing black seeds and white flesh. The leaves are green, alternate, spirally arranged, and have leaf blades that are narrowly elliptic to oblanceolate in shape. The cane-like stems emerge from underground rhizomes and are upright, unbranched, and green to dark red in color.
Here in Hawaii, Crepe Ginger grows at the edge of moist, shaded to partly shaded forests at lower elevations.
Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Liliopsida – Monocotyledons
Family: Costaceae – Costus family
Genus: Costus L. – costus
Species: Costus speciosus (J. Koenig) Sm. – canereed
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