Costus afer is one of 140 species of stout, perennial, rhizomitous herbs of the genus Costus found in the tropics of both hemispheres. Spiral Ginger is native to Africa.
Blooming Time: Late Winter-Late Summer: Flowers are white with a yellow throat appearing from a green terminal cone that resembles a pineapple.
Culture: Costus afer are very easy to grow. They require a rich well drained soil (2 parts peat moss to 1 part loam to 1 part sharp sand), kept on the moist side. They do well in part shade to full sun. Spiral Ginger is a very vigorous grower, that requires frequent repotting to control its size.
Propagation: Costus afer is propagated by cutting the stalks into 1 inch lengths and planting them in sand and sifted peat moss; also by division of rhizomes.
Costus afer was featured as Plant of the Week June 11-17, 1999.
Guide to Past Plants-of-the-Week:
Cal's Plant of the Week was provided as a service by the University of Oklahoma Department of Microbiology & Plant Biology and specifically the late Cal Lemke, who used to be OU's botany greenhouse grower and an avid gardener at home as well. If the above links don't work, then try the overview site. You may also like to look at the thumbnail index. ©1998-2012 All rights reserved.