Chamaedorea smithii A.H.Gentry, Ann. Missouri Bot. Gard. 73: 164 (1986)

Primary tabs

no image available


Map uses TDWG level 3 distributions (


  • The description is from Gentry (1986), who stated that C. smithii is endemic to the lower montane Podocarpus forests where it is locally very common near Rondayacu about 45 km south of San Ramon and north of Monobamba near the Tarma-Chanchamayo border. However, the forest remnants there are one of the last vestiges of this type of vegetation in Peru and, accordingly, the species must by regarded as highly threatened.
    Gentry (1986) compared C. smithii to members Of subgenus Chamaedorea, namely C. boliviensis and C. lanceolata (both = C. pinnatijrons, a highly variable species ranging from Mexic.o to Bolivia and Ecuador). Gentry also compared C. smithii to C. paucijlora, a lowland Amazonian species of subgenus Moreniopsis. Unfortunately, C. smithii is known only from the type, a fruiting pistillate collection, and staminate material is not available. However, the pyramidal pistillate inflorescence with its long, straight rachis and relatively short, curved fruiting rachillae, green fruits maturing dark red, and unribbed fruiting perianth suggest subgenus Morenia. (Hodel, D. 1992. Chamaedorea Palms, The Species and Their Cultivation. The International Palm Society.)A

Biology And Ecology


  • Habit: solitary, slender, erect, to 2 m tall. Stem: green, prominently ringed. Leaves: 65-75 cm long, pinnate; petiole 9-15 cm long; pinnae 8-9 on each side of rachis, 15-29 cm long, lowermost less than I cm wide, some terminal and median ones to 5 cm wide, variable in shape, narrowly lanceolate-elliptic to linear, not sigmoid, 3-7 cm apart, long-acuminate, alternate or subopposite, drying grayish green with contrastingly tannish main veins below, ± minutely lepidote below, otherwise glabrous, 5-7 primary nerves, fewer in narrow basal pinnae, primaries integrating into and not very strongly differentiated from others. Inflorescences: Staminate not seen. Pistillate with peduncle 30 cm long; bracts 4, lowermost attached near base, 8-9 cm long, second attached 4 cm above base, 17 cm long, third attached 13-14 cm above base, 31 cm long, uppermost 24-25 cm above base (7-9 cm below lowermost rachilla), 5-6 cm long, narrow, I mm wide, membranous; rachis 10-13 cm long, rather straight; rachillae 15-21, these to 3.5-5 cm long in flower, to 14 cm long in fruit, diverging at nearly right angle from rachis. Flowers: Staminate not seen. Pistillate several mm apart, not at all sunken, scars actually slightly raised; calyx 1.5-2 mm high, lobed, sepals connate in basal 2/3; petals 1-1.5 mm long, broadly ovate, folded over bud?; pistal 1.5 mm high, thick-triangular ovoid, stigma lobes I mm long, sessile, recurved. Fruits: 8-10 mm diam., globose, red, with persistent and conspicuous calyx cup. (Hodel, D. 1992. Chamaedorea Palms, The Species and Their Cultivation. The International Palm Society.)A