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Costus productus

Family Name: Costaceae
Common Name: Orange Tulip Ginger, Dwarf Orange Ginger, Green Mountain Spiral Flag
Semi-Shade Lots of Water Moderate Water Occasional Misting Bird-Attracting Ornamental Flowers Herbaceous Herbaceous


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Status (botanical)
Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Monocotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Herbaceous Plant
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Maximum Height 0.6 m to 0.9 m


Native Distribution Peru
Native Habitat Terrestrial
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form Spiral ginger up to 90cm tall which forms clumps.
Foliage Leaves light green, hairy, to 12 (15cm)  long by 5 (6cm) wide.
Stems It has an underground, horizontal stem known as a rhizome which produces aboveground stems at regular intervals.
Flowers Inflorescence to 10cm tall, usually much shorter and only 5-8cm tall. Bracts bright orange red, pale whitish orange towards the base. Flowers tubular to 5cm in length, bright orange, lip red, lobed.
Fruits The dry, dehiscent fruit is known as a capsule. It is woody and approximately round to egg-shaped.
Similar Bears some resemblance to Costus productus var. productus; however, it differs in having a much shorter inflorescence. The color of the bracts and flowers also differ (flowers and bracts are orange in this variety as compared to bright red bracts and  yellow flowers var. productus). Var. productus also differs in having large oval/oblong ligules that overlaps the leaf sheath of successive leaves.
Taxonomy This species/ variety was initially mistaken for and sold under the identity of Costus curvibracteatus.  It was subsequently sold as Costus productus var. productus  but this was also an incorrect ID. It is now identified as one of the varieties under the Costus productus species complex.
Cultivation This plant grows best in semi-shade and needs protection from hot afternoon sun.
Ethnobotanical Uses Edible Plant Parts (Edible Flowers)
[Others]: The edible flowers are sweet.

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Flowers
Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Moist Soils, Well-Drained Soils, Fertile Loamy Soils
Landscape Uses Parks & Gardens, Small Gardens, Container Planting
Thematic Landscaping Bird & Wildlife Garden

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Fauna Pollination Dispersal Associated Fauna Bird Attracting
Pollination Method(s) Biotic (Fauna)

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Semi-Shade
Water Preference Occasional Misting, Lots of Water, Moderate Water
Pest(s) Sucking Insects
Propagation Method Division


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Hairy / Hirsute
Leaf Area Index (LAI) for Green Plot Ratio 3.5 (Shrub & Groundcover - Monocot)

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality 1 Bisexual Flowers
Flower Colour(s) Orange, Red, Yellow / Golden
Flower Texture(s) Waxy
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence
Flower Colour(s) Remarks Red-orange bracts, yellow tubular flowers

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Fruit Classification Simple Fruit
Fruit Type 1 Dehiscent Dry Fruit
Fruit Type 2 Capsule

Image Repository



Master ID 567
Species ID 1863
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 18 September 2020.