Spiral Ginger (Costus barbatus)

Common names:
Give a thumbs up Spiral Ginger
Give a thumbs up Red Velvet Ginger
Give a thumbs up Red Tower Ginger

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Herb/Forb
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun to Partial Shade
Partial or Dappled Shade
Partial Shade to Full Shade
Water Preferences: Mesic
Soil pH Preferences: Slightly acid (6.1 – 6.5)
Neutral (6.6 – 7.3)
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 9a -6.7 °C (20 °F) to -3.9 °C (25 °F)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 11
Plant Height: 6 to 8 feet
Leaves: Evergreen
Other: Pubescent (hairy) reverse side.
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: Yellow
Other: Red bracts with bright yellow tubular flowers
Bloom Size: 2"-3"
Flower Time: Spring
Late spring or early summer
Late summer or early fall
Underground structures: Rhizome
Uses: Windbreak or Hedge
Cut Flower
Edible Parts: Flowers
Eating Methods: Raw
Wildlife Attractant: Hummingbirds
Resistances: Humidity tolerant
Propagation: Other methods: Cuttings: Stem
Containers: Needs excellent drainage in pots
Miscellaneous: Tolerates poor soil
Conservation status: Critically Endangered (CR)

Conservation status:
Conservation status: Critically Endangered
In the glass house

Photo gallery:

Posted by plantladylin (Sebastian, Florida - Zone 10a) on Dec 31, 2017 1:57 PM

According to the IUCN Red List: http://www.iucnredlist.org/det..., the TRUE Costus barbatus is Critically Endangered and NOT found in cultivation. It is apparently confused with the more commonly cultivated Costus comosus which is sold as an ornamental plant AND misidentified as C. barbatus.

Costus barbatus is endemic to a small area of Costa Rica in the central valley of San Jose but with major urbanization of the area over the years, the plant has experienced great loss of habitat.

The true Costus barbatus can be distinguished from other species by its long ligules, fibrous margins on the bracts, bracteoles and calyx, as well as the densely pubescent corolla.

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Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
NEW GINGER BLOOM THREAD Ginger blooms for 2019 season show yours by Gina1960 Dec 12, 2019 6:20 PM 274
Plant ID help - possible ginger? by carlissa904 May 29, 2019 7:43 AM 3
Containerized Ginger blooming by crawgarden Oct 19, 2018 4:36 PM 54
Costus Barbatus ~ Spiral Ginger by pod Mar 23, 2019 5:50 AM 20
Identify this flower by gordonmichaellee Dec 24, 2016 4:26 PM 1

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