R. & P., Syst. Veg. 3.1798 Stout, essentially glabrous plant, 1-3.5 (6) m tall; stem 1.5-3 cm diam, the lower part leafless. Petioles lacking or to 3 cm long; blades oblanceolate, gradually long-acuminate, cuneate at base, mostly 44-53 cm long, 10-16 cm wide; basal and apical leaves much smaller, the lowermost reduced to bulbous projections. Inflorescence ovoid to oblong, somewhat narrowed at both ends, 5-10 cm long (to 25 cm long in fruit), 3-7 (9) cm wide; bracts glabrate to appressed-pubescent, red, lacking leaflike appendages or with only the lowermost bearing leaflike appendages, the others rounded to broadly oblong and green at apex; bracteole 2-3 cm long; calyx 8-13 (20) mm long, red or white, trilobate; corolla 5-9 cm long, white or faintly red and yellowish at base; labellum 6-9.5 cm long, 4-5.5 cm wide at apex, unequally trilobate, the middle lobe curved forward and lacerate, its color variable, usually red to maroon with white lines or white to yellowish with red markings, the center yellowish within; stamen red and recurved at apex, 3.5-5 cm long, the margin minutely toothed. Capsules white, ellipsoid, 1-2.5 cm long, sharply contrasting with inner surface of opened bracts at maturity; seeds subglobose to irregularly 3-sided, 2-3 mm long, black, enveloped in a fleshy lacerate aril. Croat 15586. Probably pollinated by euglossine bees. At maturity the fruiting inflorescence may be as much as 15 cm broad when the bracts are spread open. This species is the tallest Costus on the island. It is often nearly leafless for the first 2 m.
Bocas Species Database
Characteristics: Hierba de ± 1.5 m. Brácteas verdes. Flores con cáliz amarillo. Corola" rojo-púrpura con nervaduras longitudinales pálidas, ápice reflexo." Grass ± 1.5 m. Green bracts. Flowers with yellow cup. Corolla "red-purple with pale longitudinal veins, apex reflexed."