Chamaedorea serpens Hodel

First published in Principes 35: 77 (1991)
This species is accepted
The native range of this species is Panama. It is a shrub and grows primarily in the wet tropical biome.


Dense, wet forest and cloud forest at or near the Continental Divide; 800-1,000 m elevation.
General Description
Habit: cespitose, often branching up to I m up stem, decumbent, to 1.5 m tall, forming clumps 1-2 m across. Stem: 5-10 mm diam., rooting and sprouting at nodes, sprawling and twisting along ground and through adjacent vegetation, smooth, green, prominently ringed, internodes 5-10 cm long. Leaves: 4-5, erect-spreading, pinnate or rarely bifid; sheath to 20 cm long, tubular, obliquely open apically, green, longitudinally striated; petiole to 20 cm long, flat and green above, rounded and pale below; rachis to 25 cm long, angled and green above, rounded and with a pale yellow or light green band below extending onto sheath; pinnae 2-5 on each side of rachis, all but apical pair 12-18 x 2.5-4 cm, lanceolate, sigmoid, acuminate, narrowed basally, 4-5 prominent primary nerves above, I secondary between each pair of primaries, tertiaries numerous, faint, apical pair of pinnae (or if bifid) 27-30 x 8-12 cm, slightly sigmoid, acuminate, 9-12 prominent nerves above, these 1-2 cm apart, all pinnae ± thick, glossy green. Inflorescences: inter- or infrafoliar, often emerging from persistent sheaths, erect; peduncles 15-25 cm long, 5-10 mm wide at base and there flattened, 1.8-3 mm diam. at apex and there ± rounded, pale to green in flower; bracts 4-5, prophyll 2 cm long, 2nd bract 8 cm, 3rd 12 cm, 4th 15 cm and exceeding peduncle, 5th 4 cm and sometimes concealed by the larger 4th, long-lanceolate, obliquely open apically, finely longitudinally striate- nerved, papery, greenish to brown in flower, lower ones acute, upper ones acute-acuminate; rachises to 3 cm long, greenish in flower. Staminate with 6-10 rachillae, these to 10 cm long, slightly drooping. Pistillate with 10 rachillae, these to 15 cm long, erect-spreading, greenish in flower. Flowers: Staminate in ± dense spirals, 1-2 mm apart, 2-2.5 x 1.8-2.5 mm, ± globose, greenish yellow in flower, drying brownish, only slightly sunken in superficial elliptic depressions 3 x 1.5 mm; calyx 0.8-1 x 1.8-2 mm, deeply lobed, only lightly nerved, sepals connate only briefly at base, rounded to acute apically; petals 2.5 x 2 mm, valvate, connate apically and basally and adnate apically to pistillode and corolla opening by basal and lateral apertures, acute, ± thin, lightly longitudinally striatenerved; stamens 1.25-2 mm high, anthers 2 mm long, sessile or nearly so, longitudinally bilobed; pistillode 2-2.5 mm high, columnar, very slender, slightly flared apically. Pistillate in dense spirals, 1-1.25 x 2 mm, subconic, nearly shieldlike, yellowish, sunken in elliptic to rounded depressions 2 mm long; calyx 0.75-1 x 2 mm, lobed, nerved when dry, sepals imbricate in basal 1/2, truncate to broadly rounded apically; petals 1.5 x 1.5 mm, imbricate nearly to apex, straight or acute; pistil 1 x 1 mm, depressed-ovoid to globose, styles short or lacking, stigma lobes recurved, short, not exceeding petals. Fruits: not known
PANAMA. Cocle. Panama.


  • Kew Backbone Distributions

    • The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Vascular Plants 2022. Published on the Internet at and
    • © Copyright 2022 World Checklist of Vascular Plants.
  • Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone

    • The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Vascular Plants 2022. Published on the Internet at and
    • © Copyright 2022 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Vascular Plants.
  • 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