Plant ID forum: bloom in Costa Rica

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Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
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needrain
Oct 1, 2014 4:30 PM CST
I took an impulsive trip to Costa Rica 10 years ago. Lots and lots and lots of cool plants and blooms. A few I knew, but a lot of them are unknown to me. I've always wondered if there were versions growing as container plants or growing in Florida or the Texas Valley or southern California. Here was one of the coolest. The peach blooms came out of the middle of the leaf!! rather than from the stem. This was growing in a place called Zoo Ave, which I think has changed location and enlarged now. It was a raise and release program for birds indigenous to Costa Rica.
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Donald
Name: Jean
Prairieville, LA (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier The WITWIT Badge Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Moonhowl
Oct 1, 2014 6:23 PM CST
It reminds me of a spiral-type costus. Maybe something in Costaceae family? there are 7 genera.

http://www.theplantlist.org/browse/A/Costaceae/

http://www.thewildclassroom.com/biodiversity/floweringplants...


edited for link
[Last edited by Moonhowl - Oct 1, 2014 6:35 PM (+)]
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Name: Janet Super Sleuth
Near Lincoln UK
Charter ATP Member Organic Gardener Garden Photography Bee Lover Dragonflies Cat Lover
Butterflies Birds Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Spiders!
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JRsbugs
Oct 1, 2014 6:41 PM CST
Hedychium coccineum looks the best bet. Most you will find don't have leaves that spiral like that but I found photos which are probably native plants to wherever, São Bento is in Brazil.

https://sites.google.com/site/florasbs/zin/gengibre-vermelho
Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
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needrain
Oct 1, 2014 9:04 PM CST
Thank you Jean and Janet. Do you know if any plants similar to this one have made it into the nursery trade? This was a nice plant for its foliage, but it wasn't small. It's odd that here in west Texas tropicals do well if they are given the water. They handle the warm night temps so much better than a lot of temperate plants rated for the zone I'm in.
Donald
Name: Jean
Prairieville, LA (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier The WITWIT Badge Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Moonhowl
Oct 1, 2014 10:22 PM CST
Hi Donald
. The Hedychium Coccineum that Janet provided the info on, is a rather common, easy to find ginger. After giving Janet's link a good look, it does look like it is stretching for sun. I have two or three H coccineum (scarlet ginger lily) colors, but just haven't had one look quite like that, hence my thought of Costus.

http://www.plantdelights.com/Hedychium-coccineum-Tara-for-sa...

http://garden.org/plants/search/text.php?q=hedychium+coccine...

http://www.pacificbulbsociety.org/pbswiki/index.php/Hedychiu...

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Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
Image
needrain
Oct 1, 2014 10:52 PM CST
Ha Jean! Nothing is easy to find out here in the boonies except really common things being distributed to the outlets. Not too much in the way of esoteric plants. These do match what I saw pretty well, both in the way the bloom looks and for the size of the plants. I'm growing a common ginger. It's been easy except for overwintering where its size is a bit of a problem. I haven't been able to get mine to bloom, but it's outstanding for a foliage plant. I think I may be on the watch to see if I can find another variety of ginger. Thanks for the links!

Donald
Name: Jean
Prairieville, LA (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier The WITWIT Badge Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Moonhowl
Oct 2, 2014 12:01 AM CST
You are most welcome Donald.. Here we bump shins with zone 8b/9a. Our low this past winter was about 17F, but that was only for a few hours.. Some gingers only bloom on 2nd year growth which makes them harder for us to enjoy. The H coccineum in my pictures above are all planted in ground here on the S-SE side of the yard and they return and bloom every year, even if they have to be cut back from frost damage. They do get a good layer or mulch for warmth and to help retain moisture in summer. And if you don't find a hedychium locally, just let me know....they travel well in fall and Spring. I tip my hat to you.

I think these links may help you see what would do well in your area.

http://www.searchlifeforms.com/Families175/Ginger_Zingiberac...

http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston/publications/Cr...
Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
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needrain
Oct 2, 2014 8:27 AM CST
Thanks Jean,

I especially like the aggie-horticulture link. Useful info with photos. A lot of things shown in the link would need to be grown in a container here. My location just gets too cold in the winter. I'm going to have a porch and garage filled to overflowing this winter.

Yours are beautiful. I'm satisfied the plant I saw was in the genus Hedychium. I'm not as confidant about specifics beyond that, though. That's a lot. Here's another monstrous bloom I saw in Costa Rica that I have tagged as 'probably a ginger'. It was more what I associated with ginger blooms, so I didn't connect the two as both being gingers. Are you any growing with blooms sort of like this?
Thumb of 2014-10-02/needrain/9b0022

Donald
Name: Janet Super Sleuth
Near Lincoln UK
Charter ATP Member Organic Gardener Garden Photography Bee Lover Dragonflies Cat Lover
Butterflies Birds Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Spiders!
Image
JRsbugs
Oct 2, 2014 9:05 AM CST
Etlingera elatior ..

https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=Etlingera+elatior&source=l...
Name: Jean
Prairieville, LA (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier The WITWIT Badge Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Moonhowl
Oct 2, 2014 11:41 AM CST
"Probably a ginger" is a good bet... nodding There are somewhere around 50+ genera and over 1300 species (nature only knows how many crosses,hybrids, cultivars). And truth be told, I would love to grow them all Whistling

But, in answer to your query, I do not grow the really exotic (for us) plants any more. I can't justify the time, expense and emotional attachment to a plant that may not survive. This winter I lost about 90% of my greenhouse plants (orchids, kalanchoes, gingers, violets, etc.) Tree branch blown down in a thunder storm took out part of the roof and heater while we were out of town. Came home to a wet, slimy mass of broken pots and plants.

I am now rather of the mindset "if it can't grow in the ground, or survive in a container on the lee side, I probably won't have it." I do have a few of the Hedychiums, a couple Zingiber zerumbet ( http://www.floridata.com/ref/z/zing_zer.cfm ), and a couple awaiting positive IDs.

My daughter lives in the Brisbane area of Australia, not far from the rain forest. Visiting her has given me some serious plant envy. Whistling
Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
Image
needrain
Oct 2, 2014 2:15 PM CST
Thanks Janet,
I didn't see a pink one, only the red. It was about 4' tall. Actually there were several in different stages of bloom. I wonder if it might grow too large for a container. At least a container you could move around. It certainly is Etlingera elatior. I just read where it native to Asia. I wonder what the history was on traveling to Costa Rica. This one was growing off the beaten path. On an island surrounded by brackish water channels, in fact. No motor traffic there. Fishing was the main source of income there, I think. Thanks again. I've tagged my photo with the name now.

Jean,
I can understand your position. Oddly, it's actually the drought that sent me into container growing. Those plants don't have to share with the trees or any neighbor and I recycle a lot of the water that runs through. That run through water I don't catch is extra for the trees that give some shade so it's not wasted. It's odd to me how well tropicals grow in the warm months. They handle the heat and warm nights better than anything and obviously love the humid days, though here we tend to have low humidity. With lots of containers and under the trees, the humidity tends to be higher in their immediate vicinity. Getting through the winter is the really hard part and I'm not a good caretaker of inside plants.
Donald

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