This is the most widespread and commonly collected species of Ronabea, and is somewhat variable morphologically. Previous authors have sometimes recognized two forms or varieties within this species, based on absence (fo. erecta) vs. presence (fo. fluctuans) of strigillose pubescence on the leaves. However this character varies through the range of this species without apparent correlation to other features or geography. When this species is included in Psychotria it takes the name , but in Ronabea it takes this name.