Skip to main content
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 2021. 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 2021. 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