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Plants of the UNF Campus

Costus scaber - Spiral ginger
Family Costaceae


Approximately 150 to 200 species of Costus are mostly found in the tropics of the southern hemisphere. As the common name suggests, the Costus family is closely related to the ginger family. This species is native to Central and South America. Leaves are arranged spirally on upright stalks and the plant spreads slowly by rhizomes. Yellow to orange tubular flowers emerge from red or green cone-like inflorescences at the top of the stem. These tropical plants are evergreen in warm climates.


See plants at the southeast corner of building 2.


Herbaceous plant with stems to three or four feet tall.

Care Instructions:

Light: part shade to shade

Water: moderately drought tolerant, irrigation is beneficial

Soil: widely adaptable to soils, no special requirements

Spiral ginger is an easy plant in part shade. Irrigation may be required during prolonged dry spells. In north Florida, it may die to the ground in winter and re-emerge in spring.