Saturday, 21 February 2009

the costus dilemma

Today whilst taking my dogs out for their usual Sunday morning walk at the Ginger Gardens, I chanced upon yet another unusual costus discovery. The thing about costus is, until they bloom, some of them can look virtually alike, save for certain characteristics.

Also, because costus is not widely cultivated in Singapore, you rarely know what or how the inflorescence would look until it actually blooms.
This particular specimen looked every bit like the Costus lucanusianus. The only distinguishing characteristic is the colour of the flowers. So far, there are also two recognised varieties, the white and red/pink or pure canary yellow. This on the other hand, had orangey hues.

I took some photos and showed them to resident expert, Dave of Gingerus who confirmed that this is definitely an African species. However, he also thinks that this could also possibly be the Costus afer, Costus maculatus-albus or even a form of Costus dubius.

As much as I would like to believe him, something inside tells me that this is probably another form of the lucanusianus. Incidentally, the lucanusianus at home has finally bloomed and the flowers are of the exact same colour as the one pictured here.

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