Monographs Details: Renealmia jamaicensis (Gaertn.) Horan. var. jamaicensis
Authority: Maas, Paulus J. M. 1977. Renealmia (Zingiberaceae--Zingiberoideae), Costoideae (Additions) (Zingiberaceae). Fl. Neotrop. Monogr. 18: 1-218. (Published by NYBG Press)
Family:Zingiberaceae
Synonyms:Alpinia jamaicensis Gaertn., Zingiber uncinatum Stokes, Alpinia antillarum Roem. & Schult., Renealmia amoena A.Rich., Renealmia jamaicensis (Gaertn.) Horan., Renealmia ventricosa Griseb., Alpinia ventricosa Kuntze, Renealmia pauciflora Griseb., Alpinia pauciflora Kuntze, Renealmia antillarum (Roem. & Schult.) Gagnep., Alpinia racemosa, Renealmia racemosa Poepp. & Endl.
Description:Description - Plants 0.45-2.50 m tall. Rhizomes 3-5 mm thick. Lamina 6-27(-33) cm long, (1.5-)2-6 cm wide. Inflorescence a lax thyrse 3-13 cm long and 1-5 cm wide, (rarely dense and 3-6 cm long and 2-5 cm wide), with (l-)2-3(-4)-flowered cincinni. Indument of inflorescence: rhachis, peduncles, pedicels, and ovary glabrous to sparsely (rarely rather densely) covered with furcate, sessile hairs (to 0.2 mm long), simple hairs rare. Bracteole 4-10 mm long. Calyx 5-7 mm long, 3-4(-5) mm wide. Corolla (14-)17-19 (-21) mm long. Anther 4-5 mm long. Style (13-) 16-18(-20) mm long.

Discussion:The type of R. jamaicensis (Gartner’s Plate 12) has always been left out of consideration because of its incompletenes (only a capsule with calyx, and seeds). The shape and the size of the calyx, however, leave no doubt about its identity, the only species with which it could be confused, R. occidentalis var. occidentalis, having a shorter and much wider calyx.

The material which is here assembled under this variety is rather heterogeneous, and this particularly holds true for the Cuban plants. At first glance it seems rather easy to split up the Cuban material into two groups, namely, one with very small leaves and a loose and few-flowered inflorescence (= Renealmia amoena type), and another with somewhat larger leaves and a very dense inflorescence (= Renealmia ventricosa type). The two “species” however, are connected by a long and gradual series of transitional forms which make it impossible to maintain both. Therefore I unite all these forms as R. jamaicensis var jamaicensis.
Distribution:Bahamas South America| Cuba South America| Jamaica South America|