TROPICAL PLANT ENCYCLOPEDIA


Pictogram Guide · Mouse over pictogram for definition

Costus spicatus, Alpinia spicata, Spiked Spiralflag, Red Button Ginger

Costus spicatus, Alpinia spicata

Spiked Spiralflag, Red Button Ginger
Family: Costaceae
Origin: Tropical America
Large shrub 5-10 ftSemi-shadeRegular waterOrnamental foliageRed/crimson/vinous flowersAttracts butterflies, hummingbirdsEdibleSubtropical, cold hardy at least to 30s F for a short time

Costus are easily distinguished from other commonly cultivated gingers because the leaves spiral around the main stem like a circular stairway. In fact they are called "spiral gingers". Sometimes Costus are still listed with other gingers in family Zingiberaceae, but generally they are accepted classified in a separate plant family, Costaceae, along with Dimerocostus, Monocostus and Tapeinochilos. Costus spicatus will grow in the sun if kept moist. Grows to about 6 to 7 feet tall. Leaves are about a foot long and about 4 inches wide. Plant produces a short cylindrical red cone with red-orange flowers emerging one at a time, long lasting and used as a cut flower. These plants often have close interactions with ants. The plant makes a sugary nectar which is attractive to many different kinds of ants. Ants protect the developing seeds which are under the bracts from insect enemies. Some plants have very specialized ants: they form an alliance only with one ant species, that not only get food from the plant but also get a place to nest.


Similar plants:

More similar plants




Link to this plant:
https://toptropicals.com/catalog/uid/costus_spicatus.htm

Costus - Red Button Ginger

Red Button Ginger. Spectacular red ginger, with bright red button-like flower cones almost year-round. The yellow flowers that emerge from the red cones are edible. The plant can withstand a light frost for short periods of time but will stop blooming.

RECOMMENDED FERTILIZER:
SUNSHINE Robusta - Rapid Growth Booster
Buy together promotion:
500 ml (16 oz)
$14.00
  $9.00
Add to cart
946 ml (1 qt)
$19.00
  $14.00
Add to cart
This item is certified for shipping to California.
Grown in
6-10"/1-3 gal pot, large plant
10 plants in stock
$32.95