Chamaedorea oreophila Mart., Hist. Nat. Palm. 3: 309 (1849)

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Distribution

Map uses TDWG level 3 distributions (http://www.nhm.ac.uk/hosted_sites/tdwg/geogrphy.html)
Mexico Gulfpresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Mexico Southwestpresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B

Discussion

  • Long-pedunculate inflorescences, erect and arching well beyond the leaves, and the pendulous flower-bearing spike with either densely packed, yellow to whitish flowers or showy red fruits easily distinguish C. oreophila.
    Martius described and named C. oreophila from material that Liebmann had collected in the 1840s in Oaxaca, Mexico. Liebmann (1846) had suggested the name Stachyophorbe montana for this material. However, Martius (1849) felt that Stachyophorbe was simply the same as Chamaedorea and, accordingly, used this latter name. Martius was precluded from using the epithet montana since, in the same paper, he had already used it for another Liebmann collection from Oaxaca. Martius did, though, respect Liebmann's intent for the epithet montana since he replaced it with oreophila, derived from a Greek word meaning mountain-loving. Oersted (1859) continued to maintain Stachyophorbe separate from Chamaedorea.
    Long-pedunculate inflorescences, erect and arching well beyond the leaves, and the pendulous flower-bearing spike with either densely packed, yellow to whitish flowers or showy red fruits easily distinguish C. oreophila.?Martius described and named C. oreophila from material that Liebmann had collected in the 1840s in Oaxaca, Mexico. Liebmann (1846) had suggested the name Stachyophorbe montana for this material. However, Martius (1849) felt that Stachyophorbe was simply the same as Chamaedorea and, accordingly, used this latter name. Martius was precluded from using the epithet montana since, in the same paper, he had already used it for another Liebmann collection from Oaxaca. Martius did, though, respect Liebmann's intent for the epithet montana since he replaced it with oreophila, derived from a Greek word meaning mountain-loving. Oersted (1859) continued to maintain Stachyophorbe separate from Chamaedorea.
    Later, Burret (1933a) described and named C. monostachys, based on collections of Seier and Galeotti in Veracruz, Mexico. In an earlier paper (Hodel 1990d), I treated C. monostachys as a synonym of C. oreophila, a possibility to which Burret, himself, alluded. Some material of C. oreophila in cultivation is erroneously referred to as C. cataractarum or, more infrequently, C. atrovirens. Krempin (1990, p. 93) illustrated C. elegans at Fairchild Tropical Garden in Miami, Florida but erroneously captioned the photograph as C. monostachys.
    Fairly common in cultivation, C. oreophila appears in gardens and collections in Hawaii, California, Florida, and Australia. It is somewhat susceptible to infestation ofthrips, especially on undersides of pinnae near the new, emerging leaf. Severe infestations result in defoliation and, in some instances, death of the plant. (Hodel, D. 1992. Chamaedorea Palms, The Species and Their Cultivation. The International Palm Society.)A

Biology And Ecology

Etymology

Description

  • Habit: solitary, erect, 1-3 m tall. Stem: 0.6-2 cm diam., green, minutely but conspicuously whites-potted, prominently ringed, internodes 1-6 cm long. Leaves: 5-13, erect-spreading, pinnate; sheath 10-25 cm long, fibrous, light green, densely white-spotted, white-margined, longitudinally green-striate-nerved, drying brown, durable, and ± persistent; petiole 7-35 cm long, light green with granulated white spots, slightly grooved above, rounded and pale green below; rachis 40-80 cm long, obtusely angled and light green above, rounded and pale green below; pinnae 14-25 on each side of rachis, 16-35 x 1.5-4 cm, narrowly lanceolate, falcate or slightly sigmoid, ± stiff and not drooping, acuminate apically, oblique basally, alternate or subalternate, 1.5 em apart, dark lustrous green, prominent yellowish central midrib and 2 primary nerves on each side of this. Inflorescences: interfoliar, erect, spicate, long-pedunculate, exceeding leaves, very slender; peduncles 60-140 em long; bracts 6-10, upper one the largest and exceeding peduncle, to 37 em long, slightly membranous or fibrous, acuminate, green in flower, green or brown in fruit. Staminate 4-8 per node; rachis or flower-bearing portion 10-30 em long, 1 cm wide, pendulous, light yellow. Pistillate solitary at a node; rachis or flower-bearing portion 10-30 em long, erect or horizontal in flower, becoming pendulous in fruit. Flowers: Staminate up to 300 per inflorescence, in dense spirals, contiguous, to 2.5-3 x 3.5 mm, ± deppressed-globose, irregularly angled by mutual pressure, slightly aromatic, yellow in bud, yellow to white at anthesis, ageing to brownish white; calyx 1-1.5 x 2.5-3.5 mm, lobed, membranous, green, brown-margined, sepals connate and/or imbricate basally rounded apically; petals 2-3 x 2-2.5 mm, oblong-obovate, valvate, connate basally, free apically, thin, slightly fleshy apically, slightly nerved on inside; stamens exceeding petals, filaments 2-3 mm high, cylindric, elongate, connate basally, pale yellow to greenish-orange, anthers 0.75-1 mm long, yellow; pistillode 2-2.5 mm high, slender, equalling stamens, 3-lobed apically. Pistillate up to 200 per inflorescence in dense spirals, crowded and nearly contiguous, 1-1.5 x 3 mm, flattened-globose to conic, light yellow; calyx 0.5 x 3 mm, deeply lobed, pale to light green, sepals connate and/or imbricate briefly basally, straight or broadly rounded apically; petals 1.5-2.25 x 2-4 mm, broadly triangular, briefly connate basally, imbricate nearly to apex, straight apically, fleshy, thick, slightly nerved on inside; pistil 1.5 x 2.53 mm, depressed-globose, yellowish to greenish with white spots, styles short or lacking, stigma lobes separated, angled, erect, exceeding petals, sometimes slightly recurved, pale or clear-colored. Fruits: 0.6-1.3 x 4-8 mm, ovoid-ellipsoid, greenish yellow changing to orange and then red when completely ripe, at times 2-3 adherent to one perianth, epicarp thin, slightly transparent, mesocarp thin, yellow-orange, endocarp slightly membranous, nerved; seeds 5.5-10 x 3.5-6.5 mm, ellipsoid. (Hodel, D. 1992. Chamaedorea Palms, The Species and Their Cultivation. The International Palm Society.)A

Materials Examined