This plant is unusual in that the leaves spiral around the stem. Each leaf, which can be 6in/15cm in length, is oblong, glossy on the surface, and reddish below. The flowers, borne in summer, are 2-3in/5-8cm long, with an orange tube and a deep yellow lip.
Costus speciosus, Malay or crepe ginger, has white flowers; those of C. spiralis are red. C. pulverulentus (C. sanguineus) also has red flowers and decorative 4-in/10-cm-long pointed leaves, which are bluish green and accentuated with silvery central ribs.
HEIGHT To 2ft/60cm.
POTTING MIX Soil-based.
REPOTTING In early spring, when the pot becomes overcrowded.
PROPAGATION Divide and repot the roots in spring, or take 4-in/10-cm-long stem cuttings at any time of year.
KEEPING PLANTS Cut out old canes at the base when new growth appears.
Chamaecostus cuspidatus (syn C. cuspidatus)PLANT CARE
- Bright indirect light.
- Normal room temperature.
- Keep the soil moist at all times.
- Apply a weak liquid fertilizer once a month to actively growing plants.