Roystonea altissima (Mill.) H.E.Moore, Gentes Herb. 9: 239 (1963)

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Distribution

Map uses TDWG level 3 distributions (http://www.nhm.ac.uk/hosted_sites/tdwg/geogrphy.html)
Jamaicapresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Endemic to the limestone hillsides and mountains of Jamaica, up to 760 m. (Zona, S. 1996. Roystonea.(Arecaceae: Arecoideae). Flora Neotropica Monograph 71, 1-35.)A

Discussion

  • This tall and slender species is relatively common in Jamaica's interior. Its dark trunk and violet flowers allies this species with R. violacea of eastern Cuba; however, the two are clearly distinct on the basis of fruit morphology and endocarp texture. The fruits of R. altissima are obovoid and gibbous with durable en-docarps; those of R. violacea are spheroid with fragile endocarps. (Zona, S. 1996. Roystonea.(Arecaceae: Arecoideae). Flora Neotropica Monograph 71, 1-35.)A

Common Name

  • Jamaican cabbage tree, Jamaican royal palm, mountain cabbage palm (Dahlgren, 1936). (Zona, S. 1996. Roystonea.(Arecaceae: Arecoideae). Flora Neotropica Monograph 71, 1-35.)A

    Uses

    • Leaves and leafsheaths are used for thatch and wrapping material. Inflorescence used for brooms. (Zona, S. 1996. Roystonea.(Arecaceae: Arecoideae). Flora Neotropica Monograph 71, 1-35.)A

    Description

    • Trunk gray-brown, to 20 m tall, 25.5-35 cm diam., smooth. Leaves ca. 15, lowest leaves hanging well below the horizontal; crownshaft 1.4-1.6 m long; rachis ca. 4 m long; middle segments 60-79 cm long and 3.2-3.9 cm wide. Inflorescence ca. 1.2 m long and 1 m wide; prophyll 30.5-40 cm long and 6.5-13.5 cm wide; peduncular bract ca. 1 m long, widest at the middle, apex acuminate; rachillae 15-34 cm long and 1.3-2.6 mm diam. Staminate flowers violet, darkest at the bases of petals and filaments; sepals triangular, 0.9 mm long and 1-1.5 mm wide; petals elliptical, 3.6-5.9 mm long and 2.1-2.5 mm wide; stamens 6, 2.7-4.8 mm long, filaments awl-shaped, 1.9-3.8 mm long, anthers 2.3-3.7 mm long; pistillode minute. Pistillate flowers violet, 2.5-4 per cm; sepals reniform, 0.9-1.4 mm long and 2.5-3.2 mm wide; petals ovate, 2.7-3.4 mm long; staminode shallowly 6-lobed, 1.7-2.5 mm long, free for 0.6-0.9 mm; gynoecium 1.7-1.8 mm long and 1.5-2 mm diam. Fruits obovoid and gibbous, 11.4-15.3 mm long, 7.2-10.4 mm dorsiventral thickness, and 6.7-10.3 mm wide; epicarp black, Stigmatic scar plain; endocarp ellipsoid, 11.8-13.8 mm long 7.7-8.7 mm dorsiventral thickness, and 6.8-8 mm wide; seed ellipsoid, gibbous, 9.3-10.7 mm long, 5.6-6.8 mm dorsiventral thickness, and 6.5-7.3 mm wide; raphe circular. Eophyll linear-lanceolate, n = 18 (Read, 1966). (Zona, S. 1996. Roystonea.(Arecaceae: Arecoideae). Flora Neotropica Monograph 71, 1-35.)A

    Materials Examined

    • JAMAICA. CLARENDON: Broomhall, SW of Cave Valley (St. Ann), Goodfriend & Tanner 2288 (UWI); Mason River, near Kellits, Zona & Salzman 453 (FLAS, RSA), Proctor 37970 (IJ). PORTLAND: Stony River base camp, Morley & Whitefoord 694 (IJ, MO). ST. ANN: Golden Springs, Howard & Proctor 13530 (A); Lime Hall, Zona & Salzman 437 (FLAS, RSA); Valley of Roaring R., vicinity of St. Ann's Bay, Britton 2491 (NY); Mt. Diablo, vicinity of Hollymount, Maxon 2349 (US). ST. ELIZABETH: Vicinity of Newmarket, Britton 1461 (NY). ST. MARY: Castleton, Britton 836 (NY). ST. THOMAS: Johnson Mt., Zona & Salzman 436 (FLAS, RSA); Barking Lodge area, Read 1678 (US); Corn Puss Gap, Barry s.n. (IJ). TRELAWNY: Near Troy, Underwood 2901 (NY). (Zona, S. 1996. Roystonea.(Arecaceae: Arecoideae). Flora Neotropica Monograph 71, 1-35.)A

    Bibliography

    A. Zona, S. 1996. Roystonea.(Arecaceae: Arecoideae). Flora Neotropica Monograph 71, 1-35.
    B. World Checklist of Arecaceae