If you would like to support this site, please consider Donating.
Useful Temperate Plants

Saussurea costus

(Falc.)Lipsch.

Asteraceae


The Temperate Database is in the process of being updated, with new records being added and old ones being checked and brought up to date where necessary. This record has not yet been checked and updated.

+ Synonyms

Common Name: Costus

No Image.

General Information

Saussurea costus is a perennial plant that can grow up to 3.00 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food, medicine and source of materials.

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

51
Title
Flowers of the Himalayas.
Publication
 
Author
Polunin. O. and Stainton. A.
Publisher
Oxford Universtiy Press
Year
1984
ISBN
-
Description
A very readable and good pocket guide (if you have a very large pocket!) to many of the wild plants in the Himalayas. Gives many examples of plant uses.
,
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
,
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.

Range

E. Asia - Himalayas.

Habitat

A casual in irrigated areas, 2000 - 3300 metres from Pakistan to Himachel Pradesh[
51
Title
Flowers of the Himalayas.
Publication
 
Author
Polunin. O. and Stainton. A.
Publisher
Oxford Universtiy Press
Year
1984
ISBN
-
Description
A very readable and good pocket guide (if you have a very large pocket!) to many of the wild plants in the Himalayas. Gives many examples of plant uses.
]. Usually found in moist shady situations in Kashmir, sometimes forming the undergrowth in birch forests[
211
Title
Wild Flowers of Kashmir
Publication
 
Author
Coventry. B. O.
Publisher
Raithby, Lawrence and Co.
Year
1923
ISBN
-
Description
A nice little pocket guide to 50 wildflowers of Kashmir. This is part one of three, we have not seen the other two volumes
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *
Medicinal Rating *  *  *
HabitPerennial
Height3.00 m
PollinatorsInsects
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details

Succeeds in most soils in a sunny well-drained position[
1
Title
RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956
Publication
 
Author
F. Chittendon.
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Year
1951
ISBN
-
Description
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaced in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
].
Cultivated as a medicinal plant and for its use in perfumery in the Himalayas[
51
Title
Flowers of the Himalayas.
Publication
 
Author
Polunin. O. and Stainton. A.
Publisher
Oxford Universtiy Press
Year
1984
ISBN
-
Description
A very readable and good pocket guide (if you have a very large pocket!) to many of the wild plants in the Himalayas. Gives many examples of plant uses.
,
245
Title
Scented Flora of the World.
Publication
 
Author
Genders. R.
Publisher
Robert Hale. London.
Year
1994
ISBN
0-7090-5440-8
Description
An excellent, comprehensive book on scented plants giving a few other plant uses and brief cultivation details. There are no illustrations.
]. The dried root has something of the mossy smell of violets when fresh, becoming fur-like or even unpleasantly goat-like with age[
245
Title
Scented Flora of the World.
Publication
 
Author
Genders. R.
Publisher
Robert Hale. London.
Year
1994
ISBN
0-7090-5440-8
Description
An excellent, comprehensive book on scented plants giving a few other plant uses and brief cultivation details. There are no illustrations.
]. Most of the roots are exported to China and Japan and the plant forms quite a large article of commerce in Kashmir, the trade being controlled by the State[
211
Title
Wild Flowers of Kashmir
Publication
 
Author
Coventry. B. O.
Publisher
Raithby, Lawrence and Co.
Year
1923
ISBN
-
Description
A nice little pocket guide to 50 wildflowers of Kashmir. This is part one of three, we have not seen the other two volumes
]. Wild plants have been greatly over-collected and the plant has been placed on the CITES I list of endangered species - it is now illegal to dig them up for export[
238
Title
Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses.
Publication
 
Author
Bown. D.
Publisher
Dorling Kindersley, London.
Year
1995
ISBN
0-7513-020-31
Description
A very well presented and informative book on herbs from around the globe. Plenty in it for both the casual reader and the serious student. Just one main quibble is the silly way of having two separate entries for each plant.
].

Edible Uses

The aromatic root is sometimes used as a spice[
183
Title
Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications
Year
1990
ISBN
0-9628087-0-9
Description
Excellent. Contains a very wide range of conventional and unconventional food plants (including tropical) and where they can be obtained (mainly N. American nurseries but also research institutes and a lot of other nurseries from around the world.
]. It has a characteristic penetrating odour reminiscent of violet, orris and vetiver[
183
Title
Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications
Year
1990
ISBN
0-9628087-0-9
Description
Excellent. Contains a very wide range of conventional and unconventional food plants (including tropical) and where they can be obtained (mainly N. American nurseries but also research institutes and a lot of other nurseries from around the world.
].

Medicinal

Costus is a commonly used medicinal herb in China and is considered to be one of their 50 fundamental herbs[
218
Title
Medicinal Plants of China
Publication
 
Author
Duke. J. A. and Ayensu. E. S.
Publisher
Reference Publications, Inc.
Year
1985
ISBN
0-917256-20-4
Description
Details of over 1,200 medicinal plants of China and brief details of their uses. Often includes an analysis, or at least a list of constituents. Heavy going if you are not into the subject.
]. It is also used in Ayurvedic medicine where it is valued mainly for its tonic, stimulant and antiseptic properties[
254
Title
The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants
Publication
 
Author
Chevallier. A.
Publisher
Dorling Kindersley. London
Year
1996
ISBN
9-780751-303148
Description
An excellent guide to over 500 of the more well known medicinal herbs from around the world.
]. It is said to be aphrodisiac and to be able to prevent the hair turning grey[
254
Title
The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants
Publication
 
Author
Chevallier. A.
Publisher
Dorling Kindersley. London
Year
1996
ISBN
9-780751-303148
Description
An excellent guide to over 500 of the more well known medicinal herbs from around the world.
].

The root is anodyne, antibacterial, antispasmodic, aphrodisiac, carminative, skin, stimulant, stomachic, tonic and vermifuge[
61
Title
A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man.
Publication
 
Author
Usher. G.
Publisher
Constable
Year
1974
ISBN
0094579202
Description
Forget the sexist title, this is one of the best books on the subject. Lists a very extensive range of useful plants from around the world with very brief details of the uses. Not for the casual reader.
,
147
Title
A Barefoot Doctors Manual.
Publication
 
Author
?
Publisher
Running Press; Philadelphica.
Year
1977
ISBN
0-914294-92-X
Description
A very readable herbal from China, combining some modern methods with traditional chinese methods.
,
176
Title
Handbook of Chinese Herbs and Formulas.
Publication
 
Author
Yeung. Him-Che.
Publisher
Institute of Chinese Medicine, Los Angeles
Year
1985
ISBN
-
Description
An excellent Chinese herbal giving information on over 500 species. Rather technical and probably best suited to the more accomplished user of herbs.
,
218
Title
Medicinal Plants of China
Publication
 
Author
Duke. J. A. and Ayensu. E. S.
Publisher
Reference Publications, Inc.
Year
1985
ISBN
0-917256-20-4
Description
Details of over 1,200 medicinal plants of China and brief details of their uses. Often includes an analysis, or at least a list of constituents. Heavy going if you are not into the subject.
]. It is used internally in the treatment of abdominal distension and pain, chest pains due to liver problems and jaundice, gall bladder pain, constipation associated with energy stagnation, and asthma[
238
Title
Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses.
Publication
 
Author
Bown. D.
Publisher
Dorling Kindersley, London.
Year
1995
ISBN
0-7513-020-31
Description
A very well presented and informative book on herbs from around the globe. Plenty in it for both the casual reader and the serious student. Just one main quibble is the silly way of having two separate entries for each plant.
].
The root is also used in Tibetan medicine where it is considered to have an acrid, sweet and bitter taste with a neutral potency[
241
Title
Tibetan Medicinal Plants
Publication
 
Author
Tsarong. Tsewang. J.
Publisher
Tibetan Medical Publications, India
Year
1994
ISBN
81-900489-0-2
Description
A nice little pocket guide to the subject with photographs of 95 species and brief comments on their uses.
]. It is used in the treatment of swelling and fullness of the stomach, blockage and irregular menses, pulmonary disorders, difficulty in swallowing and rotting/wasting of muscle tissues[
241
Title
Tibetan Medicinal Plants
Publication
 
Author
Tsarong. Tsewang. J.
Publisher
Tibetan Medical Publications, India
Year
1994
ISBN
81-900489-0-2
Description
A nice little pocket guide to the subject with photographs of 95 species and brief comments on their uses.
].
The root is harvested in the autumn or spring and either dried for later use or decocted for the essential oil[
238
Title
Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses.
Publication
 
Author
Bown. D.
Publisher
Dorling Kindersley, London.
Year
1995
ISBN
0-7513-020-31
Description
A very well presented and informative book on herbs from around the globe. Plenty in it for both the casual reader and the serious student. Just one main quibble is the silly way of having two separate entries for each plant.
]. It is normally used with other herbs[
218
Title
Medicinal Plants of China
Publication
 
Author
Duke. J. A. and Ayensu. E. S.
Publisher
Reference Publications, Inc.
Year
1985
ISBN
0-917256-20-4
Description
Details of over 1,200 medicinal plants of China and brief details of their uses. Often includes an analysis, or at least a list of constituents. Heavy going if you are not into the subject.
].

An oil from the root is very beneficial in the treatment of rheumatism[
211
Title
Wild Flowers of Kashmir
Publication
 
Author
Coventry. B. O.
Publisher
Raithby, Lawrence and Co.
Year
1923
ISBN
-
Description
A nice little pocket guide to 50 wildflowers of Kashmir. This is part one of three, we have not seen the other two volumes
].

Other Uses

An essential oil obtained from the roots is used medicinally, in perfumery, incenses and as a hair rinse when it is said to darken grey hair[
61
Title
A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man.
Publication
 
Author
Usher. G.
Publisher
Constable
Year
1974
ISBN
0094579202
Description
Forget the sexist title, this is one of the best books on the subject. Lists a very extensive range of useful plants from around the world with very brief details of the uses. Not for the casual reader.
]. It has a strong lingering scent[
238
Title
Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses.
Publication
 
Author
Bown. D.
Publisher
Dorling Kindersley, London.
Year
1995
ISBN
0-7513-020-31
Description
A very well presented and informative book on herbs from around the globe. Plenty in it for both the casual reader and the serious student. Just one main quibble is the silly way of having two separate entries for each plant.
]. The smell is at first like violets, but as it ages it can become more fur-like or eventually become unpleasantly goat-like[
245
Title
Scented Flora of the World.
Publication
 
Author
Genders. R.
Publisher
Robert Hale. London.
Year
1994
ISBN
0-7090-5440-8
Description
An excellent, comprehensive book on scented plants giving a few other plant uses and brief cultivation details. There are no illustrations.
].
The roots are cut into lengths about 8cm long and then dried before being exported[
211
Title
Wild Flowers of Kashmir
Publication
 
Author
Coventry. B. O.
Publisher
Raithby, Lawrence and Co.
Year
1923
ISBN
-
Description
A nice little pocket guide to 50 wildflowers of Kashmir. This is part one of three, we have not seen the other two volumes
]. Smaller pieces of the root are ground into a powder and then used to make incense sticks[
211
Title
Wild Flowers of Kashmir
Publication
 
Author
Coventry. B. O.
Publisher
Raithby, Lawrence and Co.
Year
1923
ISBN
-
Description
A nice little pocket guide to 50 wildflowers of Kashmir. This is part one of three, we have not seen the other two volumes
]. The longer clean pieces are cut into very thin slices and then burnt at shrines or used as a tonic in hot baths[
211
Title
Wild Flowers of Kashmir
Publication
 
Author
Coventry. B. O.
Publisher
Raithby, Lawrence and Co.
Year
1923
ISBN
-
Description
A nice little pocket guide to 50 wildflowers of Kashmir. This is part one of three, we have not seen the other two volumes
].

Propagation

Seed - we have no information for this species but suggest sowing the seed in a cold frame in the spring. Surface sow, or only just cover the seed, and make sure that the compost does not dry out. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse or cold frame for their first winter. Plant them out in late spring after the last expected frosts.
Division in spring might be possible.
Cite as: Temperate Plants Database, Ken Fern. temperate.theferns.info. 2020-10-01. <temperate.theferns.info/plant/Saussurea+costus>

Add a Comment:

If you have any useful information about this plant, please leave a comment. Comments have to be approved before they are shown here.