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Costus dubius

Family

Costaceae

Botanical Name

Costus dubius (Afzel.) K.Schum.

Schumann, K.M. (1904) Pflazenreich Heft 20: 409. Type: ?.

Synonyms

Zingiber dubium Afzel., Rem. guin. ii: 9(1813), Type: ?.

Common name

African Costus

Weed

*

Stem

Tall perennial herb up to 2 m high.

Leaves

Leaf blades obovate-elliptic, 20-30 x 4-9 cm, cuneate at the base, free petiole 0.5-0.6 cm long, sheathing petiole about 3 cm long forming a prominent shoulder. Venation +/- parallel but each vein attached to the midrib., surfaces pubescent.

Flowers

Inflorescences borne on separate stalks arising from the rhizome. The inflorescence is rounded, with tightly fitting green bracts, out of which white flowers with a yellow-centered labellum arise. A single flower is borne in each bract.

Fruit

Fruit enclosed in fleshy bracts. Many seeds per fruit. Young seeds grey turning black on maturity.

Seedlings

Features not available.

Distribution and Ecology

An introduced species originally from West Africa but now naturalized in NEQ with specimens collected from the Cape Tribulation and Tully Falls areas. Altitudinal range from . Grows in rainforest and notophyll vine forest.

Natural History

Cultivated as ornamentals or house plants and locally used for medicinal purposes. Inflorescence used for eye treatments; pregnancy, antiaborifacients and the stem for naso-pharyngeal affections (Burkill 1985).

NEQ

X

Grass

X

Herb (herbaceous or woody, under 1 m tall)

X

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)

X

RFK Code

4040