Chamaedorea elegans Mart.

First published in Linnaea 5: 204 (1830)
This species is accepted
The native range of this species is Mexico to Honduras. It is a shrub and grows primarily in the seasonally dry tropical biome. It is has environmental uses and for food.


Bernal, R., Gradstein, S.R. & Celis, M. (eds.). 2015. Catálogo de plantas y líquenes de Colombia. Instituto de Ciencias Naturales, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogotá.

Cultivada en Colombia; Alt. 0 - 2600 m.
Morphology General Habit
Hierba, subarbusto, palma solitaria

Moist or wet, dense forest on the Atlantic slope; to 1,400 m elevation; often on limestone.
General Description
Habit: solitary, slender, erect or infrequently decumbent, to 2 m tall or more but flowering when very small and less than 30 cm tall, then appearing stemless. Stem: 0.8-1.5 cm diam., green, densely ringed with prominent nodes, internodes 0.5-3 cm long. Leaves: 5-8, spreading, pinnate; sheath 8-20 cm long, very obliquely open nearly to base and tubular only in lower 1/3, short ligule apically on either side of petiole, margins brownish and ragged, light green or whitish below margin, longitudinally greenstriate-nerved; petiole 10-40 cm long, slender, grooved and green above, rounded and pale below; rachis 15-60 cm long, very slender, 4-sided, angled and green above, rounded below with narrow yellow band extending onto petiole; pinnae 11-21 on each side of rachis, 15-30 x 1-3 cm, linear to narrowly lanceolate, long-acuminate, contracted basally, thin, dark green, midrib prominent and pale, elevated or keeled above, 1-2 less prominent primary nerves on each side of midrib, secondaries numerous, faint. Inflorescences: interfoliar, erect, shorter than or equal to or greatly exceeding leaves; peduncles 15-90 cm long, 5-9 mm wide at base, ± flattened, 4-6 mm wide at apex, rounded, green where exposed in flower, red-orange in fruit. Staminate with 4-7 bracts, uppermost exceeding peduncle, largest to 35 cm long, acuminate and bifid apically, fibrous or ± papery, longitudinally striatenerved, brown in flower; rachis 1.5-20 cm long, longitudinally ridged or angled, green; rachillae 5-35, lower ones the longest, these to 15 cm long, becoming progressively shorter toward apex of rachis, 2 mm diam., spreading, simple or branched, sharply angled, green. Pistillate similar to that of staminate but with 6-10 bracts; rachis slightly shorter, flexuous, orange in fruit; rachillae fewer in number and shorter than those of staminate, to 10 cm long, ± stiff, green in flower, red-orange in fruit. Flowers: Staminate in remote to moderate spirals, 3 x 4 mm, depressed-globose, yellow, aromatic, nerved when dry, sessile or slightly sunken in elliptic depressions; calyx 0.75-1 x 2-2.5 mm, moderately lobed, green, sepals connate in basal '12, rounded apically; petals 2.5 x 2 mm, connate, corolla opening by a 3-angled pore apically, fleshy; stamens 1.5-2 mm long, filaments connate, whitish, anthers 0.75-1 mm long, entire, yellow; pistillode equal to or slightly exceeding corolla, 6-angled, flared slightly apically, pale yellow-green. Pistillate in remote spirals, 3 x 2.75 mm, globose, yellow, nerved when dry, slightly sunken in elliptic depressions 1-1.5 mm long; calyx 1 x 2 mm, deeply lobed, green, sepals connate in basal 1/3, rounded to acute apically; petals 2-2.5 x 1.5-2 mm, connate, corolla opening by a 3-angled pore apically, thick, fleshy; staminodes lacking; pistal 2 x 1-1.5 mm, depressed-globose, green; stigma lobes separated, sessile, blunt, clear-colored. Fruits: 4-7 mm diam., globose, black; seeds 3-6 mm diam., globose; eophyll pinnate.
MEXICO. Chiapas. Hidalgo. Oaxaca. Puebla. San Luis Potosi. Tabasco. Veracruz. GUATEMALA. Huehuetenango. Alta Verapaz. Peten. BELIZE. Cayo.

Bernal, R., G. Galeano, A. Rodríguez, H. Sarmiento y M. Gutiérrez. 2017. Nombres Comunes de las Plantas de Colombia.

linda, palma bella

Elevation range: 0–2600 m a.s.l. Cultivated in Colombia. Colombian departments: Antioquia, Cundinamarca, Valle del Cauca.
Herb, Subshrub, Solitary palm.
Habitat according IUCN Habitats Classification: forest and woodland, shrubland.


Use Environmental
Environmental uses.
Use Food
Used for food.

Common Names

Parlor Palm


  • Catálogo de Plantas y Líquenes de Colombia

  • Herbarium Catalogue Specimens

  • Kew Backbone Distributions

    • The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Vascular Plants 2023. Published on the Internet at and
    • © Copyright 2023 World Checklist of Vascular Plants.
  • Kew Living Collection Database

    • Common Names from Plants and People Africa
  • Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone

    • The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Vascular Plants 2023. Published on the Internet at and
    • © Copyright 2023 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Vascular Plants.
  • Kew Science Photographs

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  • 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
  • Universidad Nacional de Colombia

    • ColPlantA database
  • Useful Plants and Fungi of Colombia