Curcuma 'Jamacian Red' Bloom-pics

(Nadine) Devers, TX(Zone 9b)

Label says Curcuma 'Jamacian Red'

Thumbnail by Moodene
(Nadine) Devers, TX(Zone 9b)

Close up of the bloom

Thumbnail by Moodene
Cleveland, TX

Nadine, can you describe the plant? How tall is it and does it have red stems. This looks like it breaks thru the side of the pseudostem similar but higher up than flaviflora. Nice pictures.

Saint Gabriel, LA

Looks like a form of C longa (tumeric) which makes since with the Jamaican name.
Some breakout early like this, the common hidden Ginger (incorrectly called C petiolata), emperor, etc.

Just a side. Most plants grown as C flaviflora in the US are actually C rubrobracteata. I introduced it many years ago and was later told it was C flaviflora. However in reality it was a new species that wasn't "discovered" til years later. It was named after plants in India were found. The cultivated forms are from Thailand though, native to the chaing Mai area.

Tim Chapman

Cleveland, TX

I've never seen a longa with red stems, hence my reason for asking if the stems retain the red color.
I have seen flaviflora and rubrobracteata used for the same plant. Are you saying that it has been determined that rubrobracteata was used first? Thanks

Saint Gabriel, LA

I've had some C longa with reddish stems, not as nice as Scarlet Fever though. The entire complex of C longa and related medicinal/edible spp is a big mess. Many similar looking plants and no easy way to really tell them apart. C longa is believed to be of hybrid origin and there are many forms, but all sterile triploids. It's a situation similar to edible bananas... but the Curcuma hybrids were all given species names or subspecies etc. To make it worse, many of these have been misidentified in the trade..and even medical research publications etc!!

C flaviflora is a valid name, but it was misapplied to the red bract species that was later described as C rubrobracteata. I don't think anyone in the US is growing C flaviflora, but it is now in cultivation in Thailand at least. It's a very different plant than C rubro. They both bloom on the ground as do a few other species. The name confusion came from trying to ID a plant that wasn't even described yet.

Tim Chapman

Cleveland, TX

Tim, do they both have the elongated rhizome? Thanks for the info- interesting stuff.

Saint Gabriel, LA

Don't know about C flaviflora's rhizome. It certainly is possible as some of the other spp whose inflor.s break out at ground level do. Just a guess. C flaviflora has a greenish inflor. with bright yellow flowers. It's a much smaller plant as well.

Tim Chapman

Anthony, FL

Hi Nadine.....Is that the Curcuma longa 'Jamaican Red' you got from me?
Mine have never bloomed for me. Yes, the stem has MUCH more red than the regular
Curcuma longa Tim, I have 4 different longa.
That is Great Nadine, GOOD JOB !!!

Saint Gabriel, LA

On a related note, I recently got some new curcuma that I thought were unfortunately just renamed Scarlet Fevers. I had to recheck the photos but verified the one that bloomed this spring is definitely something else. Hopefully once established they won't be shy bloomers like Scarlet Fever, but still have the same landscape value. There are a few others out there with similar foliage, that extra red makes them so much more attractive.

Tim Chapman

Anthony, FL

Hi Tim, I know that a few years ago, agristarts was selling Scarlet Fever as 'Big Red'
& I did see it offered in Texas I think, under another name. The Curcuma longa 'Jamaican Red' that I have, came from a nursery here in Florida. I bought it at a produce market where the Nurseryman had a booth. He told me that his son lives in Jamaica & sent him a rhizome of the plant that he used as a spice to cook with.
I took it to Russel Adams, this was about 5 years ago, & he said it was a from of longa, but one he had never seen before. I told him the story of where it came from & he said to name it 'Jamaican Red', it is shorter & not as stout as 'Scarlet Fever', it does grow like the other longa's. The red stem is nice & I have used the rhizome in cooking the same as any other tumeric.

Cleveland, TX

Is this the same curcuma you all are calling 'Jamaican Red' ? I got these out of Thailand and they have red stems slightly less intense than 'Scarlet Fever' but are summer bloomers from the crown of the pseudostem. This flower is tipped with a violet or maroon. Grows to 4-5ft.

Thumbnail by TejasTropicals
(Nadine) Devers, TX(Zone 9b)

Boy. Been gone to n back from Idaho for daughter's wedding. I got mine from a nursery in Houston.

Anthony, FL

Hi Nadine, I am sure you got that Jamaican Red from me. Mine just bloomed also. After you posted the pic, I went out & looked at all of them I have & sure enough, one of mine is blooming. I got that from the guy who brought it into the country & I am the one that gave it that name as he had no name, only that his son sent it to him from Jamaica & used it as a spice ginger. Take Care, Richard

Saint Gabriel, LA

@Tejas

Has your Red Police bloomed as a spring bloomer before? The one one I have comes from the same source but under a different name. I'm curious if it's the same thing but one of the species that can bloom both ways. One of mine bloomed this spring, but no summer blooms that I've seen. Also, Plant Delights had something similar called Summer Snow but it's not on their catalog anymore, would like to have compared photos.

Tim Chapman

Cleveland, TX

Tim, these Red Police have never bloomed in the spring for me. I also think they are different from the Red Jamaican because the the bract has violet tips and the stems are somewhat more intense red, less than Scarlet Fever but not much.

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