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This species is accepted, and its native range is Mexico (Veracruz, Oaxaca).
Arecaceae; Chamaedorea metallica

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
53489.000 Unknown type material
Cultivated [1990-1993] K000520356

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 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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