Spermatophyta: Monocotyledonae: Zingiberales


Description of the family

Often robust herbaceous plants, lacking aromatic oils; rhizome fleshy with tuberous roots. Leaves simple, entire, spirally arranged; leaf base with a closed sheath, a ligule present at the top of the sheath. Flowers solitary (Monocostus) or in an elongated or subcapitate spike; each flower subtended by a large bract. Infertile stamens 5, fused, forming a large petaloid labellum to attract pollinators. Fruit a berry or capsule.

Comment: Costaceae differs from the other families in Zingiberales having 5 fused staminodes iso 2 or 3.

Worldwide: 8 genera and c. 143 species in tropical Asia, Africa and Central and South America.

Zimbabwe: 1 cultivated genus and 1 cultivated taxon.

Costus afer

Links to cultivated genera:     View: living plant images - herbarium specimen images - all images for this family

Costus L.Description

Other sources of information about Costaceae:

Our websites:

Flora of Malawi: Costaceae
Flora of Mozambique: Costaceae
Flora of Zambia: Costaceae
Flora of Zimbabwe: Costaceae

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Costaceae
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
GRIN (Germplasm Resources Information Network) taxonomy for plants report for Costaceae
Wikipedia: Costaceae

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-23

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2023). Flora of Zimbabwe: Cultivated plants: Family page: Costaceae.
https://www.zimbabweflora.co.zw/cult/family.php?family_id=319, retrieved 27 January 2023

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