Flora of Barro Colorado Island

Renealmia alpinia

(Rottb.) Maas, Acta Bot. Neerl. 24:474.1975

R. exaltata L.f.

Large herb, 2.5-4 m tall. Leaves distichous, oblong­elliptic, acute or weakly acuminate at apex, decurrent at base onto obscure petiole, to 84 cm long and 19 cm wide (mostly less), the sheath and ligule slightly longer than base of petiole. Inflorescence scapose, arising from rhi­zome near base of stems, 2-45 cm tall, the base enveloped with imbricate bracts, these 1-10 cm long and deciduous; flowers red, to 2.7 cm long, weakly pubescent, arranged in short panicles to ca 5 cm long; calyx thin, trilobite in upper third, the lobes narrowly acute; corolla trilobate, the lobes rounded, ± cucullate; labellum scarcely    ex­ceeding corolla, pale yellow, with 4 short lobes at apex, the inner pair of lobes often acute, the outer pair round; stamen solitary, thick, shorter than corolla; apex of style much thickened. Capsules           3-locular, ± ellipsoid, to 3.5 cm long and 2 cm wide, red, drying with many closely spaced, prominent, longitudinal striations; valves fleshy, 3 mm thick; seeds many, white, 3-4 mm long, bearing a long, sticky, arillate appendage at base. Croat 6483.

Infrequent, in the forest, usually occurring in tree-fall areas, not persisting long after being completely shaded. Seedlings of the species are more abundant. Flowers and fruits within the rainy season. The flowers bloom over a long period, chiefly from July to September. Mature fruits may be present on an inflorescence that is still producing flowers.

Belize to Brazil; the Antilles. In Panama, known from tropical moist forest in the Canal Zone and Darien, from premontane wet forest in Chiriqui and Coclé, and from tropical wet forest in Colón.

See Fig. 152.

Photos from STRI Digital Archive

  • Renealmia alpinia fruit
  • Renealmia alpinia fruit
  • Renealmia alpinia immature fruit
  • Renealmia alpinia fruit
  • Renealmia alpinia fruit