Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Costus woodsonii
Maas, Costaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Risk assessment results:  High risk, score: 11 (Go to the risk assessment)

Common name(s): [more details]

English: Indian-head ginger, red cane

Hawaiian: ‘awapuhi ‘inikini po‘o

Habit:  herb

Description:  "Leafy shoots 6-12 feet tall, glabrous.  Leaves stiff, often ± deflexed; blades elliptic, ovate, or ± obovate, 3-10 x 1.5-4.25 inches, base cordate.  Inflorescence terminal on leafy stems, globose, ovoid, or cylindrical, 1-4 inches long, often producing axillary shoots, elongating in fruit; bracts broadly ovate, red.  Flower calyx 0.25-0.6 inch long; corolla lobes orange to red-orange; labellum oblong, 0.75-1.2 x 0.5-0.75 inches, yellow, lateral lobes inrolled, tubular, often orangish; stamens yellow, 1.25 inches long.  Fruit ellipsoid, 0.3-0.5 inch long"  (Staples & Herbst, 2005; p. 652).

"The leaves are spirally arranged, thick, and dark green, the bracts dark red, and the flowers red-orange" (Daehler & Baker, 2006; p. 7).

"In Hawai‘i, C. woodsonii has long been confused with C. spicatus (N. Jacquin) Swartz, which has slightly larger leaves that are hairy along the midrib on the upper side, greenish red primary bracts that eventually shred at the margin, and slightly larger flowers with a much larger labellum"  (Staples & Herbst, 2005; p. 653).

Habitat/ecology:  In Hawai‘i (O‘ahu), naturalized in many parts of Lyon Arboretum (Daehler & Baker, 2006; p. 7).  "Its rhizomes are robust and invasive, and once established they are difficult to remove.  This aggressive species grows in full sun, even in beach areas on sandy soils, but truly does its best where shade, ample moisture, and a deep, fertile soil are available"  (Staples & Herbst, 2005; p. 653).

Propagation:  "This species spreads locally by plantlets that develop on old inflorescences. It has also spread to other areas of the [Lyon] Arboretum, some quite remote from the original planting, suggesting reproduction by seeds" (Daehler & Baker, 2006; p. 7).  Local spread is by rhizome division (Staples & Herbst, 2005; p. 653).

Native range:  Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama, Colombia (GRIN).

Presence:

Pacific
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Rarotonga Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
McCormack, Gerald (2013)
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Ua Huka (Huahuna, Uahuka) Island introduced
cultivated
Lorence, David H./Wagner, Warren L. (2013)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Kaua‘i Island   Bishop Museum (U.S.A. Hawaii. Honolulu.) (1985) (voucher ID: BISH 501450)
Taxon name on voucher: Costus woodsonii Maas
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Maui Island introduced
invasive
Oppenheimer, Hank L. (2004) (p. 11)
East Maui. Voucher cited: Oppenheimer H60204 (BISH)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
O‘ahu Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 1381)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
O‘ahu Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Daehler, Curtis C./Baker, Raymond F. (2006) (p. 7)
Voucher cited: C. Daehler 1307 (BISH)
Marshall Islands
Ralik Chain
Kwajalein (Kuwajleen) Atoll introduced
cultivated
Whistler, W. A./Steele, O. (1999) (p. 105)
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Ngerkebesang Island introduced
cultivated
Space, James C./Lorence, David H./LaRosa, Anne Marie (2009) (p. 6)
Voucher: Lorence 9721 (PTBG, BNM)
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Ngerkebesang Island   National Tropical Botanical Garden (U.S.A. Hawaii. Kalaheo.) (2008) (voucher ID: PTBG 14)
Taxon name on voucher: Costus woodsonii Maas
Pacific Rim
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Central America
Central America (Pacific rim)
Costa Rica (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Central America
Central America (Pacific rim)
Nicaragua (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Central America
Central America (Pacific rim)
Panama (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Singapore
Singapore
Singapore (Republic of) introduced
cultivated
Chong, Kwek Yan/Tan, Hugh T. W./Corlett, Richard T. (2009) (p. 29)
Cultivated only
South America (Pacific rim)
South America (Pacific rim)
Colombia (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)


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This page was created on 2 AUG 2007 and was last updated on 23 NOV 2008.