Chamaedorea nubium Standl. & Steyerm.

This species is accepted, and its native range is S. Mexico to Honduras.

Moist or wet forest or cloud forest on the Atlantic and Pacific slopes; 1,500-2,500 m elevation.
General Description
Habit: cespitose, erect or decumbent, forming dense or loose and wide-ranging colonies to 5 x 10m. Stems: 8-10 mm diam., smooth, green, ringed, rooting and infrequently sprouting at nodes, uppermost internodes short, lower ones to 12 cm long, often covered by persistent leaf sheaths. Leaves: 4-7, spreading, bifid or rarely pinnate; sheath 20--30 cm long, tubular, obliquely open apically and there lighter green and longitudinally striate-nerved, old sheaths drying brown, persistent; petiole 8-13 cm long, flattened and very slightly grooved near base and green above, rounded and pale below; rachis 8-15 cm long, angled and green above, rounded with pale yellowish band below extending onto sheath; blades to 45 x 30-35 cm, incised apically to 2/3 their length, green or distinctly glaucous below, lobes narrowly long-acute, cuneate-acute basally, interior margins to 20-33 cm long, exterior margins entire or slightly toothed, 12-17 prominent primary nerves on each side of rachis, these keeled and green above, light green below, 2 secondaries between each pair of primaries, tertiaries numerous, faint; or rarely blades partially to completely pinnate, then with rachis 25-33 cm long with 6-13 pinnae on each side, to 31 x 2 cm, linear-Ianceolate, falcate, midrib and a primary nerve on each side of this, these keeled, apical pinnae slightly or much broader than others, to 7-nerved. Inflorescences: infrafoliar, sometimes emerging through persistent sheaths, erect-spreading; peduncles 10-27 cm long, 2-5 mm wide at apex and there rounded, 3-5 mm wide at base and there ± flattened, erect, pale green or yellowish in flower, nodding and red-orange in fruit; bracts 4-5, prophyll 1.5 cm long, 2nd bract 3 cm, 3rd 6.5 cm, 4th 9.5 cm, 5th 5.5 cm and often concealed by 4th, narrowly tubular, obliquely open apically, longitudinally striate-nerved, acute-acuminate, bifid, papery and drying brown in flower, uppermost equalling or slightly exceeding peduncle; rachises 1-4 cm long or more, greenish or yellowish in flower, red-orange in fruit. Staminate with up to 15 rachillae, these 6-15 cm long, 1-2 mm diam., yellow, spreading and slightly drooping but not pendulous, frequently markedly undulate. Pistillate with up to 10 rachillae or infrequently spicate or forked, these 8-15 cm long, 3-3.5 mm diam., erect, obtusely angled, and pale green in flower, swollen to 5 mm diam., downward- pointing, and red-orange in fruit, frequently strongly undulate when dry. Flowers: Staminate in loose or ± moderately dense spirals but appearing as though in opposite lines, 2-2.5 mm apart, 1.5-2 x 3-3.5 mm, depressed-globose, laterally compressed, golden yellow, sunken in narrowly elliptic depressions in curves of axis; calyx 0.5-0.75 x 2.5-3 mm, lobed, membranous, sepals connate in basal 1/2, broadly rounded to straight apically; petals 2 x 2 mm, valvate, broadty ovate, connate in basal 1/3, free but incurved apically, acute, tips only slightly recurved, ± thick; stamens 11.5 mm, filaments very short, anthers 0.7-0.75 mm, bifid apically, brownish; pistillode 1.5 x 0.75 mm, broadly columnar, whitish. Pistillate in loose or moderate spirals but appearing nearly distichous, 1.5-2 x 4 mm, shieldlike, pale yellow, sunken in depressions 2.5 mm long; calyx 1 x 4 mm, shallowly lobed, sepals imbricate in basal 3/4, broadly rounded or straight apically; petals 2.5 mm long, imbricate nearly to apex and corolla opening only slightly apically, thickened in fruit, broadly triangular, drying dark brown; staminodes present; pistil shieldlike, 1.5-2 mm high, yellowish, stigma lobes sessile, short, exserted, bluntly pointed, dark. Fruits: to 14 x 11 mm, ovoid-globose, black at maturity with a glaucous bloom.
MEXICO. Chiapas. Guerrero. Oaxaca.GUATEMALA. Alta Verapaz. Baja Verapaz. El Progreso. Huehuetenango. San Marcos. Zacapa. EL SALVADOR. Chalatenango. Santa Ana.

Native to:

El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico Southeast, Mexico Southwest

Chamaedorea nubium Standl. & Steyerm. appears in other Kew resources:

First published in Publ. Field Mus. Nat. Hist., Bot. Ser. 23: 202 (1947)

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.
  • Nelson Sutherland, C.H. (2008). Catálogo de las plantes vasculares de Honduras. Espermatofitas: 1-1576. SERNA/Guaymuras, Tegucigalpa, Honduras.


Palmweb - Palms of the World Online

  • Hodel, D. 1992. Chamaedorea Palms, The Species and Their Cultivation. The International Palm Society.

  • 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.

  • 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