Chamaecostus cuspidatus

Common Name: fiery costus 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Costaceae
Native Range: Eastern Brazil
Zone: 9 to 10
Height: 1.50 to 2.00 feet
Spread: 1.50 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: Seasonal bloomer
Bloom Description: Orange
Sun: Part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy


Best grown in evenly moist, rich, well-draining loams in part shade. Hardy in Zones 9-11. Can be overwintered indoors as a houseplant in colder climates.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Chamaecostus cuspidatus, commonly called fiery costus, is a herbaceous perennial native to shady rainforest floors in eastern Brazil. Mature plants will reach around 1.5-2' tall with a similar spread. The obovate to elliptic leaves can reach 4.5-7" long, 1.5-2.5" wide, and are spirally arranged along the stems. Terminal clusters of 3-8, bright orange, 1.5-2" wide flowers bloom during the growing season.

The genus name Chamaecostus comes from the ancient Greek khamaí meaning "lowly" or "near the ground" and the genus name Costus, in reference to the growth habit of some members of this genus and their close relation to Costus.

The specific epithet cuspidatus means "pointed", in reference to the pointed, light green bracts of this species.

The common name fiery costus refers to the color of the blooms and the genus Costus which this species was once considered a member.


Scale can be problematic.


Low, clump-forming accent specimen for tropical gardens and tropical greenhouses. Suitable for use as a houseplant.