Chamaedorea castillo-montii Hodel, Phytologia 68: 397 (1990)

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


  • C. castillo-montii is highly localized and known only from a few collections at the type locality in Izabal and one other collection from Alta Verapaz. It is not uncommon in the forest at the type locality on Cerro San Gil overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and occurs there from about 600 m elevation up to the summit at 900 m. Most individuals have bifid leaves; about ten percent of the population, however, have a mixture of bifid and variously pinnate leaves. On Cerro San Gil, C. castillo- montii often occurs on limestone rocks and grows with C. nationsiana, C. geonomijormis, and C. stenocarpa. In Alta Verapaz, it grew with C. tenerrima and C. tuerckheimii.
    Chamaedorea castillo-montii is unusual among Guatemalan members ofthe genus in its bifid leaves with prominently raised nerves, spicate inflorescences, and densely crowded but not contiguous staminate flowers with spreading petals. It appears close to C. robertii from Panama and Costa Rica with which it shares these features. However, the narrower and longer blade incised apically tp no more than half its length, the more narrowly divergent lobes, green-tinged staminate flowers, and the low, ringlike calyxes distinguish C. robertii. Among Guatemalan members of subgenus Chamaedoropsis, C. castillo- month is closest to C. volcanensis from western Guatemala. However, the branched inflorescences and generally pinnate leaves (if bifid then with much less prominent primary nerves not greatly elevated above) distinguish C. volcanensis. Other than a few plants in the research collection in Los Angeles, C. castillo-montii is not cultivated. (Hodel, D. 1992. Chamaedorea Palms, The Species and Their Cultivation. The International Palm Society.)A

Biology And Ecology



  • Habit: solitary, briefly decumbent then erect to 1 m tall, often flowering when appearing stemless. Stem: 1.5-2.5 cm diam., creeping, with adventitious roots along its length, green, conspicuously ringed, basal portion often covered with persistent leaf sheaths, internodes 1.5-2 cm long. Leaves: 12-15, erect-spreading, bifid, less often variously pinnate; sheath 10-15 cm long, obliquely long-open apically, tubular only in basal 1/4, green, minutely white-spotted, longitudinally striate-nerved, margins becoming rough, brown; petiole to 30 cm long, channeled or flattened and green above, rounded and green below, minutely white-spotted; rachis to 20 cem long, angled and green above, pale green below; blade to 38 x 27 cm, incised apically to more than 1/2 its length, interior margins to 22 cm long, entire, exterior margins to 38 cm long, toothed, lobes acute-acuminate, 30 x 10 cm, diverging at 65 degrees, rich green above, paler below, 11-13 prominent primary nerves on each side of rachis, these conspicuously elevated, 2 less prominent secondaries between each pair of primaries, tertiaries numerous; or blade variously pinnate with 2-5 pinnae on each side of rachis, all except apical pair 20 x 1.5 cm, linear-lanceolate, falcate, acuminate, a prominent midrib flanked by less prominent primary nerves, apical pair ofpinnae very broad, more than twice as broad as others combined, 9-10 nerved. Inflorescences: interfoliar, erect-spreading, spicate; peduncles erect, to 25 cm long, 5 mm wide at base and ± flattened, 2 mm wide at apex and rounded, very pale green where exposed or whitish where concealed in flower, orange where exposed or pale green where concealed in fruit; bracts 5, prophyll 2-2.5 em long, 2nd bract 7-10 cm, 3rd 10-12 cm, 4th 14-18 cm long and extending onto rachis and concealing rudimentary 5th bract, tubular, acute-acuminate, bifid, green and minutely white-spotted in flower, brownish in fruit, longitudinally striate-nerved. Staminate with rachis to 30 em long, pendulous, pale grernish yellow in flower. Pistillate with rachis to 10 em long, rigid, erect to spreading, pale greenish yellow in flower, orange in fruit. Flowers: Staminate borne in six alternating rows and very closely appressed but not contiguous, 0.5 mm apart, attaining anthesis first at apex of rachis then progressing toward base, 1.5-1.75 x 2 mm, subglobose, whitish, superficial, leaving elliptic scars 2.5 mm long; calyx well developed and prominent in bud, 1.25-1.5 x 2-2.5 mm, shallowly lobed, membranous, sepals connate in basal 3/4, broadly rounded to straight apically, tips inflexed forming a flat rim; petals 2.5-3 x 2.5 mm, ovate, valvate, free nearly to base and there briefly connate, rounded apically, fleshy; stamens equalling or slightly exceeding petals at anthesis, 1.75-2 mm high, filaments large, 1.5-2 x 0.5 mm, broadly columnar, ± terete, flared basally, fleshy, anthers short, 0.5-0.75 mm long, thin, exserted and crowded in a cluster above open petal tips, dorsifixed near middle, elliptic, versatile, sagittate basally; pistillode 1.5-1.75 x 0.75 mm, broadly columnar, flared basally, only slightly so apically, tip flat. Pistillate borne in four loose rows, moderately dense, 0.5-2.0 mm apart, 1 x 1.75 mm, depressed-globose, whitish, sunken for 1/2 their height in prominent elliptic depressions 2.5 mm long; calyx 0.5 x 2 mm, thin, membranous, shallowly lobed, sepals connate in basal 3/4, broadly rounded apically; petals 1 x 1.75 mm, deltoid, imbricate in basal 1/2, valvate apically, rounded or slightly acute, thin, membranous; staminodes lacking; pistil 0.75-1 x 0.75-1.5 mm, ovoid-pyramidal, stigma lobes sessile, large, fleshy, ± triangular each with a distal longitudinal groove. Fruits: 13 x 7 mm, oblong, narrowed at both ends, black. (Hodel, D. 1992. Chamaedorea Palms, The Species and Their Cultivation. The International Palm Society.)A

Materials Examined