Dave Looks for Plants

Journal of a plant explorer

Archive for May 4th, 2006

Parque Nacional Tapantí

Thursday, May 4th, 2006

The next morning I went to the Tapantí National Park to begin my search in earnest for Costus barbatus.  One of the INBio records indicated a collection along the trail Arboles Caidos, so that is where I headed first.

Tapanti
 

Along that trail I saw lots of Costus curvibracteatus, but nothing I could identify as C. barbatus.  It is certainly possible that I missed it, but I think it is more likely that someone incorrectly identified the former. The two species are superficially similar in appearance and C. curvibracteautus was not even described and named until 1976, so would not have been readily available in the literature.

Nonetheless, it was exciting for me to find this species because I had never seen it before even in cultivation – much less in the wild.  And there is further confusion that was created by yet another error in identification of the cultivated species that are popular in the gardens of the USA.  The species you will usually see in botanical gardens under the name Costus curvibracteatus is actually a Peruvian species – Costus productus.  It has been my mission to try to get these incorrect identifications corrected wherever possible.

 Other species I saw at Tapantí included C. pulverulentus and another plant that I am unsure of the identification, could be C. guanaiensis or possibly C. allenii or maybe something altogether new.

Costus_aff_guanaiensis-PNTapanti-13r
 

I did take some video of the trails, the river, and waterfall at Tapantí, in case anyone wants to catch the general “flavor” of the park.

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQhc2ot9LH0&feature=youtube_gdata