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Costus speciosus 'variegatus'

Pronunciation: Kos-tus spee-see-oh-sus
Family: Costaceae
Common Name: Variegated crepe ginger, variegated spiral-flag
Plant Type:
  • perennial
Height to: 8'
Width to: 4'
USDA Hardiness Zones:
  • 30 to 20ºF ZONE 9
  • 40 to 30ºF ZONE 10
  • 50 to 40ºF ZONE 11
Notes for Identification: Introduction the large, soft, variegated leaves of this tropical evergreen are borne on red stems emerging directly from the ground. Each leaf has a narrow white strip along each margin with occasional light streaks through the blade. They alternate in a spiralling fashion around the stem, forming attractive, arching clumps arising from underground rootstocks. Plants reach 6 to 8 feet tall, with the tallest stems occasionally falling over and lying on the ground. Beautiful, 1. 5-inch diameter, white flowers are produced in the warm months, appearing on cone-like heads at the tips of branches. general information planting month for zone 9: year roundplanting month for zone 10 and 11: year roundorigin: not native to north americauses: specimen; container or above-ground planter; mas planting; cascading down a wall; accentavailability: somewhat available, may have to go out of the region to find the plant description height: 6 to 8 feetspread: 3 to 4 feetplant habit: upright; spreadingplant density: opengrowth rate: moderatetexture: coarsefoliage leaf arrangement: alternateleaf type: simpleleaf margin: undulateleaf shape: elliptic (oval)leaf venation: parallelleaf type and persistence: evergreenleaf blade length: 8 to 12 inchesleaf color: variegatedfall color: no fall color changefall characteristic: not showyflower flower color: whiteflower characteristic: summer flowering; fall floweringfruit fruit shape: unknownfruit length: less than. 5 inchfruit cover: dry or hardfruit color: greenfruit characteristic: inconspicuous and not showytrunk and branches trunk/bark/branches: typically multi-trunked or clumping stemscurrent year stem/twig color: reddishcurrent year stem/twig thickness: very thickculture light requirement: plant grows in part shade/part sunsoil tolerances: occasionally wet; slightly alkaline; clay; sand; acidic; loamdrought tolerance: moderatesoil salt tolerances: poorplant spacing: 36 to 60 inchesother roots: usually not a problemwinter interest: plant has winter interest due to unusual form, nice persistent fruits, showy winter trunk, or winter flowersoutstanding plant: plant has outstanding ornamental features and could be planted moreinvasive potential: not known to be invasivepest resistance: long-term health usually not affected by pestsuse and management growing in either sun or partial shade, crepe ginger needs fertile soil and ample moisture, and is often planted near water. Plants receiving regular fertilization often look the best. It makes a nice accent plant in a shrub border, where the variegated foliage will contrast the greens of the shrub border. Planted on 3- to 4-foot centers, it forms a loose, open mass of foliage, and can brighten a partially shaded location. Foliage can burn up in full day sun. Propagation is by division of the clumps, cuttings, or by separating the offsets or plantlets that form below the flower heads. Pests and diseases mites and nematodes can be a problem, especially on light, sandy soil. Source: u. S. Department of agriculture, cooperative extension service, university of florida, ifas
USDA Heat Zones (days above 86ºF):
  • 120 to 150 days ZONE 9
  • 150 to 180 days ZONE 10
  • 180 to 210 days ZONE 11
  • Greater then 210 ZONE 12
Seed photo: 0
Seed Label: 0
Located in: Perennials
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