Chamaedorea nationsiana Hodel & Cast.Mont

This species is accepted, and its native range is Guatemala.

Wet forest on the Atlantic slope; to 900 m elevation; on limestone.
General Description
Habit: solitary, erect, to 2.5 m tall. Stem: 2-3 cm diam., green, smooth, ringed, internodes to 10 cm long. Leaves: 5-6, erect-spreading, pinnate; sheath to 30 cm long, obliquely open apically, rough- and brown-margined, longitudinally striated, green with a raised yellowish central costa; petiole to 75 cm long, flat or slightly channeled and green above, rounded and pale below; rachis to 1 m long or perhaps more, angled and green above, rounded below with a distinct yellow band extending onto sheath; pinnae to lion each side of rachis, middle ones largest, these to 53 x 9 cm, lowest pinnae to 40 x 6 cm, apical pair to 35 x 8.5 cm, lanceolate, slightly sigmoid, falcate, longacuminate, opposite to subopposite, 8-9 prominent primary nerves above, middle one often most prominent, these pale and keeled below, 1 secondary between each pair of primaries, tertiaries numerous, faint, apical pair 10-nerved. Inflorescences: inter- or infrafoliar in flower, infrafoliar in fruit, spicate. Staminate several to a node, usually 8, each with a separate prophyll and peduncular bracts but borne on a common hypopodium, center inflorescence developing first followed sequentially by others on either side; peduncle to 25 cm long, 5 mm wide at the base, 2-3 mm diam. at apex, ascending; bracts 4-5, prophyll to 5 cm long, 2nd bract to 9 cm, 3rd to 15 cm, 4th to 25 cm, 5th to 25 cm and greatly exceeding peduncle, fibrous, acute to acuminate, longitudinally striate-nerved, greenish in flower, tips brown and tattered, shredding with age; rachis or flower-bearing portion to 15 cm long, pendulous, densely flowered. Pistillate solitary at a node, ascending in flower, nodding in fruit; peduncle to 30 cm long, 1 cm wide at base and there ± flattened, 2-5 mm diam. at apex, greenish or pale in flower, bright orange and swollen in fruit; bracts 5, similar to those ofstaminate but brownish in flower becoming tattered and often fallen away in fruit; rachis or flower-bearing portion to 15 cm long and ± straight in flower, to 20 cm long and ± straight to strongly curved in fruit. Flowers: Staminate in dense spirals, contiguous in bud, 2 x 1-1.5 mm, ± globose, angled by mutual pressure; calyx well developed, prominent, 1 x 1.5 mm, scarcely lobed, membranous, sepals connate to apex, straight or broadly rounded apically; petals 1-1.5 x 1.5 mm, triangular, valvate, spreading apically, acute; stamens 0.8 mm high, shorter than petals, tightly placed around but not exceeding pistillode, filaments short, anthers 0.8 mm long, oblong, ± sessile, bilobed; pistillode 1 mm high, columnar, flared basally and apically. Pistillate in 5 dense spirals, contiguous, in bud 3-3.5 mm long, 2.5-3 mm wide, rhombic-shaped by mutual pressure, at anthesis 1.5-1.75 mm high, depressed-globose, ± superficial, leaving elliptic scars 2 x 0.75-1 mm; calyx well developed, prominent, 1.5 x 2.5-3.5 mm, scarcely lobed, ± membranous, sepals connate nearly to apex, straight apically; petals 1.5 x 2.5 mm, broadly triangular, imbricate nearly to apex, inflexed, rounded apically; pistil 2 mm high, ± columnar but swollen and to 1.5 mm wide basally, 0.5 mm diam. apically, terminal cap broadly flared, stigma lobes sessile, recurved, bifid. Fruits: 1-1.5 cm diam., densely packed and angled from mutual pressure, black; seeds 6-9 mm diam., angled, brown.

Native to:


Chamaedorea nationsiana Hodel & Cast.Mont appears in other Kew resources:

First published in Principes 35: 4 (1991)

Accepted by

  • Govaerts, R. & Dransfield, J. (2005). World Checklist of Palms: 1-223. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • Govaerts, R. (1999). World Checklist of Seed Plants 3(1, 2a & 2b): 1-1532. MIM, Deurne.


Palmweb - Palms of the World Online

  • Hodel, D. 1992. Chamaedorea Palms, The Species and Their Cultivation. The International Palm Society.

  • Kew Backbone Distributions

    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2022. Published on the Internet at and
    © Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.

  • Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone

    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2022. Published on the Internet at and
    © Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.

  • Palmweb - Palms of the World Online

    Palmweb 2011. Palmweb: Palms of the World Online. Published on the internet Accessed on 21/04/2013
    Content licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License