Chamaedorea guntheriana Hodel & N.W.Uhl, Principes 34: 126 (1990)

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


  • C. guntheriana is a most unusual palm in habitat and habit. It occurs sparingly in dwarf, windswept, relatively open cloud forest at the Continental Divide in central Panama. This is not the typical, dripping-wet cloud forest festooned with epiphytes that one encounters in other parts of Panama and Costa Rica. Rather, certain elements of it seem to be ofan almost sclerophyllous nature. The low, open, shrubby forest contains no tall trees. Many of the species occurring there have thick, grayish green leaves as does C. guntheriana.
    Another aspect in which C. guntheriana is unusual is the manner in which the staminate flowers attain anthesis; this occurs in a very pronounced, progressive manner successively from the basal end ofthe rachis or rachillae to the distal or apical end.
    With grayish green, thick, stiffpinnae, C. guntheriana is similar to C. correae but the slightly larger leaves and the staminate flowers attaining anthesis more or less simultaneously distinguish the latter species. Other than a few plants in the research collection in Los Angeles, C. guntheriana is not cultivated.? (Hodel, D. 1992. Chamaedorea Palms, The Species and Their Cultivation. The International Palm Society.)A

Biology And Ecology



  • Habit: solitary, slender, decumbent to 3 m long then briefly erect to 1m tall. Stem: 5-7 mm diam., smooth, green, ringed, conspicuously and minutely white-spotted, internodes to 2-4 cm long. Leaves: 4-5, spreading, pinnate or less often bifid; sheath to 9 cm long, tubular, obliquely open apically, longitudinally striate-nerved; petiole to 9 cm long, ± rounded or slightly flattened and gray-green above, rounded and gray-green below; rachis to 12 cm long, angled and greenish above, rounded and greenish below with a faint yellow band extending onto sheath; petiole above and below and rachis above gray-green and densely white-spotted; pinnae 2-4 on each side of rachis, apical pair largest (or if bifid), to 19 x 3.5 cm with 5 conspicuous primary nerves, basal ones to 12 x 2.5 cm, lanceolate, falcate, acuminate, narrowed basally, stiff, ± thick and leathery, 2-3 prominent nerves, all pinnae with numerous secondaries, these ± faint, pinnae drying heavily striated. Inflorescences: infrafoliar, stiff and ascending, to 15-20 cm long. Staminate forked or with 3 rachillae, or infrequently spicate; peduncle to 5-6 cm long, 2.5-4 mm wide at base and there ± flattened, 1.5-3.5 mm diam. at apex and there rounded, ascending, greenish in flower; bracts 4, prophyll 5 mm long, 2nd bract 1 cm, 3rd 2-3 cm, 4th 4 cm, tubular basally, ± inflated apically, brownish at anthesis, leathery, acute-acuminate, bifid; rachis or flower-bearing portion ifspicate or rachillae to 10-12 cm long, to 2 mm diam., green, ascending. Pistillate spicate; peduncle similar to that of staminate but brownish or dull orange in fruit; bracts similar to those of staminate but greenish at anthesis; rachis or flower-bearing portion to 6 cm long, 2.5 cm diam., erect, greenish in flower, becoming thickened and dull orange in fruit. Flowers: Staminate in moderately dense spirals, maturing basally first and then attaining anthesis progressively toward the apex of axis, 2.5-3 x 2-2.5 mm, oblong to bullet-shaped, bright yellow, slightly sunken; calyx 1 x 2.5 mm, shallowly lobed, ringlike, pale green or yellowish, sepals connate and/or imbricate nearly to apex, broadly rounded apically; petals 2-2.5 x 2 mm, valvate, spreading, free nearly to base, acute, ± thick; stamens 1-1.5 mm high, filaments short, clear-colored, anthers 0.5 mm long, bilobed, brownish; pistillode 2-2.5 mm high, columnar, expanded basally and there 0.8 mm diam., whitish, apically 0.5 mm diam. and there yellow ageing to red. istillate in moderately dense spirals, 2.5-3 x 1.5-2 mm, bullet- shaped, yellow, slightly sunken; calyx 0.75 x 2.5-3 mm, shallowly lobed, ringlike, thickened, pale green, sepals connate in basal 2/3, rounded apically; petals 3 x 2.5-3 mm, imbricate nearly to apex, acute to mucronate apically; pistil 3 x 2 mm, ovoid, pale yellow-green, exceeding petals, stigma lobes sessile, short, recurved, clear-colored. Fruits: 6 mm diam., globose, black. (Hodel, D. 1992. Chamaedorea Palms, The Species and Their Cultivation. The International Palm Society.)A

Materials Examined