Saturday, March 7, 2009

Costus barbatus 'Red Tower'

Costus barbatus "Red Tower'
This is one of the hardy members of the ginger family which is quite tolerant of cold, though it becomes perennial in the cooler climates and disappears underground for a couple of months. It grows to about 1.7 metres and stays as a small well behaved clump flowering for many months well into autumn. The inflorescence is made up of red bracts and small yellow flowers which are supposed to be edible though I have not tried them. This Costus will grow in sun or shade and needs a bit of protection from wind.
2017 update: I have a plant of it but have not done any propagation. It is certainly a hardy plant and quite good in a pot.

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