Chamaedorea glaucifolia H.Wendl., Index Palm. : 64 (1854)

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Map uses TDWG level 3 distributions (
Mexico Southeastpresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B


  • Linden introduced C. glaucifolia to the Jardin Botanique de Bruxelles apparently from Chiapas, Mexico, about the middle ofthe 19th century. Wendland (1854) described and named the species, apparently from staminate material only, that was cultivated at the Brussels garden. Wendland stated that the species was collected in pine woods in New Granada near Chiapas. New Granada usually refers to present-day Colombia and Panama. However, Wendland and others also used it to refer to southern Mexico. In any case, collections document it at several localities in Chiapas.
    Chamaedorea glaucifolia is a very distinctive species, not likely to be confused with any others and is easily recognized by its numerous linear pinnae borne in several planes and clustered in groups along the rachis. It has sometimes been erroneously referred to in cultivation as C. graminifolia, a cespitose species not in cultivation. C. glaucifolia is among the finest textured of all the species of the genus. The amount of glaucous indument on the rachis and petiole seems to vary considerably. Some individuals are thickly covered while others are only lightly covered or almost bare. The glaucous indument seems to be less than permanent, often shedding and weathering away with age, leaving only the newly emerged leaves with petioles and rachises covered in such a manner. There is also considerable variation in the size of pinnae and the diameter of stems. Widely cultivated, C. glaucifolia appears in gardens and collections in Hawaii, California, Florida, Venezuela, and Australia. In California, it was apparently first offered in the trade in 1912 (Reidel 1957). It is relatively easy to grow and tolerates higher light than most members of the genus. Because of its unusual and fine texture, it is used very effectively as an accent in a container or planter. It also makes an interesting study in texture and is quite attractive as a mass planting through which other plants may be observed. (Hodel, D. 1992. Chamaedorea Palms, The Species and Their Cultivation. The International Palm Society.)A

Biology And Ecology



  • Habit: solitary, erect, to 5 m tall. Stem: 2-3.5 cm diam., green, prominently ringed, internodes 25-35 cm long. Leaves: 3-5, pinnate, erect, ascending, only later spreading; sheath 25-40 cm long, tubular, green, obliquely open apically and there ± pale but with brown ragged margin, slightly glaucous, leathery but drying grayish brown and ± woody, persistent, durable, longitudinally striate-nerved with a rounded ridge extending from petiole; petiole 15-40 cm long, slightly grooved and green above especially toward base, rounded and green and densely glaucous below; rachis 1-2 m long, angled and green above, rounded and green below and densely glaucous; glaucous covering on leaf sheath, petiole, and rachis is ± deciduous and tends to weather away with time; pinnae 50-70 on each side of rachis, 30-35 x 0.5-1.2 cm, narrowly linear to linear-lanceolate, clustered in groups of 2-4, borne in different planes and directions, long-acuminate, gray-green, prominent midrib and several much less prominent primary and secondary nerves on each side of this. Inflorescences: infrafoliar, usually among old leafsheaths, longpedunculate, erect, solitary; peduncles to 50 cm long, ± stout, 7 mm diam. at apex, 1.2 cm diam. at base, erect or downwardarching when heavily laden with fruits, light green in flower, redorange in fruit; bracts 6, prophyll 5 cm long, 2nd bract 7 cm, 3rd II cm, 4th 18 cm, 5th 20 cm, 6th 15-20 cm, uppermost exceeding peduncle, closely sheathing, acute, bifid, fibrous, longitudinally striate-nerved, light brown at anthesis. Staminate with rachis 1020 cm long, obtusely angled, light green in flower; rachillae 15-30, these 25-30 cm long, 2 mm diam., obtusely and longitudinally angled, drooping, light green, minutely and faintly white-spotted. Pistillate with rachis 15 cm long, longitudinally and obtusely angled, green in flower, red-orange in fruit; rachillae 12-30, lower ones the longest, these to 15 cm long, 2 mm diam., ± stiff, erect, spreading, obtusely and longitudinally angled, light green in flower, minutely and faintly white-spotted, red-orange in fruit. Flowers: Staminate 2.5 x 3 mm, depressed-globose, yellow, slightly aromatic, slightly sunken in rounded depressions; calyx 1 x 1.75 mm, lobed, green, sepals imbricate in basal 1/2, triangular and acute apically; petals 2.5 x 2.5 mm, valvate, connate apically and basally and apically adnate to pistillode and corolla opening by lateral slits, acute, lightly nerved on inside; stamens 2 mm high, filaments 0.75-1 mm long, green, anthers 1.5 mm long, oblong, yellowish; pistillode 2.5 mm high, columnar, green. Pistillate in rather lax spirals, 2 x 2 mm, globose, light yellow; calyx 1 x 2 mm, deeply lobed, nerveless, sepals imbricate in basal 1/3, rounded apically; petals 2 x 3 mm, imbricate nearly to apex, acute, nerveless; pistil 2 x 2 mm, globose, greenish, styles short or lacking, stigma lobes short, slightly recurved, barely exceeding petals. Fruits: 7-10 mm diam., globose, black. (Hodel, D. 1992. Chamaedorea Palms, The Species and Their Cultivation. The International Palm Society.)A

Materials Examined