Chamaedorea metallica O.F.Cook ex H.E.Moore

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

MEXICO. Veracruz. Oaxaca?
Dense, wet forest on the Atlantic slope; 50-600 m elevation; usually on limestone.
General Description
Habit: solitary, slender, erect, 2-3 m tall. Stem: 1.3-1.5 cm diam., green, minutely but distinctly whitespotted, nodes prominent, internodes 1.5-2.5 cm long, adventitious roots often appearing at base. Leaves: 12-16, rather stiffly ascending or ascending-spreading with blades cupped upward toward apex, usually bifid but often variously pinnate, metallic-blue-green; sheath 7-8 cm long, tubular but split opposite petiole to within 1-2 cm of base; petiole 2.5-4 cm long, very slightly grooved and green above, rounded and pale below; rachis 19-32 cm long, angled and green above, rounded below with a yellowish band extending onto sheath; blade 20-30 x 15 cm, 10-12 cm long on upper margin, cuneateobovate, incised apically to 1/3 its length, 8-11 primary nerves on each side of rachis, these prominent but not much elevated above, impressed below, 5-6 secondaries between each pair of primaries, minutely and irregularly toothed along margin at apex of each primary nerve especially toward base; or, sometimes blade pinnate, pinnae 3-8 on each side of rachis, 2.5-6.5 cm wide, sigmoid, 1-3-nerved, toothed along outer margin above middle. Inflorescences: interfoliar but often infrafoliar in fruit, solitary, spreading-erect. Staminate with peduncle 10-25 cm long or more, pale or greenish in flower; bracts 3-4, lowermost 3 cm long, flattened, 2-edged, others 6-14 cm long, uppermost exceeding peduncle, all tubular, greenish, papery; rachis 4-6 cm long, pale or greenish in flower; rachillae 10-12, these 9-15 cm long, 1.5- 2 mm wide at base, simple, ascending to erect, usually flexuous at apex, pale green in flower. Pistillate spicate, sometimes furcate or with 3-4 rachillae; peduncle 12-26 cm long, green where exposed in flower, red-orange in fruit; bracts 6, similar to those of staminate, green in flower, brown in fruit; flower-bearing portion orrachillae 12-14 cm long, 4 mm diam., erect, pale green in flower becoming swollen to 7 mm diam. and red-orange in fruit. Flowers: Staminate in moderate spirals, 3 x 4 mm, depressedglobose, dull purplish brown in bud, bright orange at anthesis, ± sunken in superficial elliptic depressions 1.5-2 mm long; calyx 1.25 x 2.25 mm, shallowly lobed, pale green to white, sepals connate in basal 1/., rounded to acute apically; petals 3 x 3 mm, connate in basal 1/2, valvate apically, bilobed, thick, fleshy, cupped over stamens; stamens nearly equalling petals, white, filaments 1.5-2 mm long, connate, adnate to pistillode, greenish, anthers essentially sessile on the filament tube, incurved, deeply bifid apically and basally, yellow; pistillode slightly exceeding petals, columnar with a broad flat 3-angled irregularly toothed cap apically, expanded basally, white. Pistillate in remote spirals, 3.5 x 3 mm, globose, bright orange, sunken I mm in axis, aromatic; calyx 1-1.5 x 2.75 mm, lobed, pale green, sepals imbricate in basal 1/2 rounded apically; petals 2-3 x 1.5 mm, connate briefly basally, valvate apically, thick, fleshy, strongly cup-shaped; staminodes 6, nearly as long as pistil, white; pistil 1.5-1.75 x 1.5 mm, depressed-globose, of 3 carpels connate in lower half but readily separable, pale green, stigma lobes sessile, recurved, clear-colored. Fruits: 12 x 9 mm, globose-ellipsoid when fresh, drying slightly smaller, dull black at maturity, epicarp smooth, mesocarp thin, fleshy, green with slender elongate or branched flat fibers appressed against thin endocarp; seeds 10 x 7 mm, brown, with 2 arcuately ascending raphe-branches.

Native to:

Mexico Gulf, Mexico Southwest

Chamaedorea metallica O.F.Cook ex H.E.Moore appears in other Kew resources:

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status Has image?
51609.000 No
53489.000 Unknown type material No
Cultivated [1990-1993] K000520356 No

First published in Principes 10: 45 (1966)

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 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.

  • Kew Science Photographs

    Copyright applied to individual images

  • 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