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This species is accepted, and its native range is Mexico (Veracruz).

MEXICO. Veracruz. Chiapas?
Wet forest on the Atlantic slope; 300-700 m elevation.
General Description
Habit: solitary, rarely cespitose? and then with few stems, erect, to 3 m or more. Stem: 3-4 cm diam., light green, smooth, conspicuously ringed, internodes 5-15 cm long, often with adventitious prop roots at base. Leaves: 3-5, spreading, pinnate, to 1.75 m long; sheath 45 cm long, green, splitting opposite the petiole, obliquely open apically and whitish and green striate-nerved, margin brownish and ragged; petiole 50 cm long, ± rounded but becoming furrowed and channeled toward base and light green above, rounded and pale below; rachis to 0.8-1.5 m long, obtusely angled and green above, rounded below with a distinct pale band extending onto sheath; pinnae 6-12 on each side of rachis, lower ones largest, these 40-50 x 11-14 cm, middle ones 30-40 x 5-10 cm, elliptic-lanceolate, slightly sigmoid, falcate, acuminate, ± thin, alternate, drooping apically, well spaced, 15 cm apart, a prominent midrib and 3-4 primary nerves on each side of this, end pair wider, and 12-15- nerved. Inflorescences: infrafoliar, erect, staminate 2-5 and pistillate 1-4 per node; peduncles 15-25 cm long, 1-1.5 cm wide at base, 5-8 mm wide at apex, erect, green in flower, reddish orange and nodding in fruit; bracts 4-6, prophyll 5 cm long, 2nd bract 12 cm, 3rd to 30 cm, 4th to 35 cm long and exceeding peduncle, sometimes a small rudimentary one concealed by largest upper bract, finely longitudinally striate-nerved, ± leathery and becoming tattered and/or deciduous in fruit, upper broad and yellow inside; rachis greenish in flower, reddish orange in fruit. Staminate with 8-15 rachillae, these 15-25 cm long, pendulous, greenish in flower. Pistillate with 8-12 rachillae, these 10-15 cm long, ± stiff, erect and greenish white in flower, light orange and horizontal or downward-pointing in fruit. Flowers: Staminate in dense rows, contiguous in bud, yellow; calyx short, ringlike; petals connate basally, valvate and spreading apically; filaments cylindric, longer than anthers, these ovoid; pistillode not exceeding stamens, briefly 3-lobed apically or sometimes lacking. Pistillate greenish, sunken in elliptic depressions 3 mm long; calyx 1.5 mm high, shallowly 3-lobed; petals 2.5 x 3.5 mm, imbricate, acute, yellow with greenish tips. Fruits: 2 x 1 cm, ellipsoid, black.

Native to:

Mexico Gulf

Chamaedorea alternans H.Wendl. appears in other Kew resources:

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status

First published in E.von Regel, Gartenflora 29: 104 (1880)

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.

Herbarium Catalogue Specimens

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
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