Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Spiral Ginger
Costus pulverulentus

Family: Costaceae
Genus: Costus (KOS-tus) (Info)
Species: pulverulentus (pul-ver-oo-LEN-tus) (Info)

5 members have or want this plant for trade.

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

12-15 in. (30-38 cm)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade


Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Mid Spring
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer


Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

Seed Collecting:
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

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2 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive fuzzytufts On Sep 7, 2012, fuzzytufts from Folkston, GA wrote:

I received my plant from a friend 2 years ago and this year I found its likes and it bloomed 3 foot stems with 4 to 6 inch long pods. Mine has small white crepe type blooms that open each day and die tomorrow but the Deep Magenta Purple of the flower base is beautiful and it has been in bloom since Middle of June One stalk now has stopped blooming and is full of seeds and I sure wish I knew how to try to grow them. The bottom of the plant is in a pot but hidden with another plant but the blooms sought the sun and love it.

Positive suncatcheracres On Jul 28, 2003, suncatcheracres from Old Town, FL wrote:

I grew spiral pinecone ginger for almost 9 years in my yard in St. Petersburg, Florida, zone 9b. This is a quite stunning looking plant, even when not in bloom. They had bright orange small "pinecones" and smooth, glossy leaves. They grew in a mostly sunny spot along with dwarf Brazilian bananas, which grew to 15 feet, papayas and various colored cannas, so this was a very tropical looking bed. Everything but the papayas survinved an early March, 18 F degree freeze one winter.

This bed was mulched very heavily with chipped up compost given away free by the city, and after years of adding this mulch the dirt in this bed was a deep black color instead of a white sand. I can't remember when my pinecones bloomed, but they bloomed pretty profusely, and the plants grew to about five feet tall. They were in a slightly raised bed with lots of water from a downspout off of the roof. Once established they spread rapidly, so eventually I had lots of offsets to dig up and give away to friends.

I acquired my original plant as a "pass-a-long" at an orgnic garden club meeting--everyone brought a plant and we charged a dollar apiece for a ticket, and as the tickets were drawn out of a bowl and read off, the winners got to choose a plant to take home until the plants were all gone. I acquired quite a few unusual plants in this way, and I think a regular "plant raffle" is a good way to assure attendance at garden type club meetings.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Bartow, Florida
Deland, Florida
Hollywood, Florida
Inverness, Florida
Lynn Haven, Florida
Miami, Florida
Punta Gorda, Florida
Winter Haven, Florida
Zephyrhills, Florida
Folkston, Georgia
Deridder, Louisiana
Saint Helena Island, South Carolina
Galveston, Texas

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