The Encyclopedia of House Plants

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Family: Costaceae.

Costus igneus N. E. Br.
Costus Genus of about 90 species of mostly clump-forming, rhizomatous perennials with an open, lax habit, found on forest floors in tropical Africa, Asia, Australia, and North, Central and South America. Costus is a plant for a greenhouse or conservatory. The leaves are large and they spiral around the stem. The flowers appears in late spring - they are colourful but short-lived. Costus has a resting period in winter.
Growing conditions Watering and misting Propagation
Average warmth. Keep cool (10-15C or 50-60F) in winter. Choose a well-lit spot - a few hours sunlight every day is benefical. Water liberally from spring to late autumn. Water sparingly in winter. Mist leaves regularly. Take stem cuttings in spring. Sow seed at 68 F (20 C) as soon as ripe.

User-submitted additions and corrections:

Valsa Chandy
6th Nov 2005
I found Costus Igneus being used in India to control diabetes. It is commonly known as "insulin plant" in Kerala, India. Diabetic people eat one leaf daily and help themseves to keep their blood sugar low.
Bheemaray s/o Esanna Kulkarni.
Gulbarga. India.
6th Nov 2010
I am using this medicinal plant since six month, and blood sugar is under control to the some extent. More-ever this plant is growing in the open place just in the compound wall of the Home.
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