Costus speciosus, Cheilocostus speciosus


Since 1791 the Crepe Ginger, also Crape Ginger or Malay Ginger was known under the botanical name Costus speciosus (J. König) Sm. 1791, which is these days just accepted as a synonym.

In the year 2006 the name has been changed for phylogenetic reasons by the American botanist Dr. Chelsea D. Specht to Cheilocostus speciosus (J. König) C.D. Specht 2006. Dr. Specht moved 4 former Costus species to the new genus Cheilocostus, which she has established. All Cheilocostus species are native to South-East Asia, mostly, like the Crepe Ginger, to the Malay Archipelago. The tropical plant belongs to the Costus family (Costaceae) in the order Zingiberales and reach heights up to about 3 meters. Cheilocostus speciosus (Costus speciosus) requires a warm to hot, humid climate and a half-shady to shady location. The ginger plant grows best in wet areas. The rhizomes are used in nature medicine, especially in Indian Ayurvedic medicine to treat fever, asthma, and bronchitis. In Hawai and other Pacific islands Cheilocostus speciosus is considered as an invasive species.

Costus speciosus, Cheilocostus speciosus
Flower Photography © Orchids
Image: Costus speciosus, Cheilocostus speciosus

Costus and Cheilocostus species plants at Orchids

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