Chamaedorea foveata Hodel, Phytologia 68: 403 (1990)

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


  • C. foveata is unusual in its petioles that are densely covered with minute but conspicuous, irregularly shaped depressions giving living material a rough texture. It shares this feature with C. woodsoniana from the Atlantic slope. The larger habit, leaves, and inflorescences, much more numerous pinnae with prominently elevated nerves below, and much more numerous rachillae (the staminate with up to 100) distinguish C. woodsoniana.
    C. foveata appears closest to C. vulgata from the Pacific slope ofGuatemala. The densely white-spotted but smooth petioles, larger but fewer pinnae with conspicuous secondary nerves, and the more or less superficial staminate flowers with the more prominent calyx distinguish C. vulgata. Other than a few plants in the research collection in Los Angeles, C. foveata is not cultivated. (Hodel, D. 1992. Chamaedorea Palms, The Species and Their Cultivation. The International Palm Society.)A

Biology And Ecology



  • Habit: solitary, erect, to 2.5 m tall, sometimes flowering when appearing stemless. Stem: 2.5-3 cm diam., green, ringed, internodes 2-4 cm long, basal portion SUbterranean, curving. Leaves: 3-5, spreading, pinnate, to 1.25 m long; sheath to 30 cm long, 2.5-4 cm diam., splitting deeply opposite petiole to 1/2 its length, tubular only in lower 112, dark green, minutely but conspicuously white-spotted, thick, durable, longitudinally striate- nerved when dry; petiole 20-40 cm long, robust, I cm diam., densely covered with minute irregular pits giving living material a rough texture and drying to narrow nearly elliptic contiguous fissures, very slightly flattened and only faintly grooved near base and green above, rounded and paler below; rachis to 60 cm long, angled and green above, rounded below with a yellow-green band extending onto sheath; pinnae 12-16 on each side of rachis, middle ones longest, these to 35 x 4-5 cm, terminal pair of pinnae 20 x 3.5-4.5 cm, basal pair 27 x 3.5-4.5 cm, lanceolate, nearly straight, only slightly sigmoid, falcate, acuminate, 5 prominent primary nerves above, I secondary between each pair of primaries in living material, secondaries inconspicuous above when dry, tertiaries numerous, all nerves drying distinctly pale yellow below. Inflorescences: interfoliar but occasionally infrafoliar in fruit, erect, long-pedunculate; peduncles to 85 cm long, 1.5 cm wide at base and there flattened, 5-7 mm wide at apex, light green and remotely white-spotted where exposed in flower, orange in fruit; bracts 6, prophyll 8 cm long, 2nd bract 20 cm, 3rd 30 cm, 4th 38 cm, 5th 35 cm, 6th very short and rudimentary or to 15 cm long, equalled or exceeded by 5th one, tubular, acuminate, obliquely long-open, green to brown in flower, minutely white-spotted, longitudinally striate-nerved. Staminate with rachis 3 cm long, greenish yellow in flower; rachillae 8, to 25 cm long, spreading, greenish yellow in flower. Pistillate with rachis 4-6 cm long, green or yellow-green in flower, orange in fruit; rachillae 3-7 or perhaps more, to 25 cm long, 5 mm diam. at base, 1-1.5 mm diam. at apex, stiffly erect, greenish in flower, orange in fruit, slightly undulate when dry. Flowers: Staminate in four moderate spirals, 1-3.5 mm apart, in bud 2 x 2.5 mm, dome-shaped, at anthesis 2.5 mm diam., globose, slightly sunken in elliptic depressions 3 mm long; calyx 1 x 3 mm, not adnate to sides of pit, lobed, thin, membranous, brown-margined, sepals connate in basal 1/2, rounded apically; petals 2 x 2 mm, valvate, ovate, free to base, spreading slightly apically, acute, fleshy but thin and membranous when dry, not nerved or only obscurely so, margins thickened; stamens 1-1.25 mm high, filaments 0.5-1 mm long, wider basally, slender, terete, awl-shaped apically, pale, anthers 1.5-2 x 0.5 mm, dorsifixed near middle; pistillode 1.5-2 x 0.5 mm, shorter than petals, columnar, enlarged in middle, definitely barrel-shaped, pale, tip 3-lobed, flat. Pistillate in four loose spirals, 2-4 mm apart, 3.5 x 3 mm diam., globose-ovoid, yellow, superficial or only slightly sunken in elliptic depressions 2.5-3 mm long; calyx 0.5 x 2.5-3 mm, lobed, pale, membranous, sepals connate in basal 1/2, rounded apically; petals 2 x 2.5 mm, broadly ovate, briefly imbricate basally, broadly acute apically, fleshy, thicker distally, faintly nerved when dry; 1-3 staminodes present; pistil 2.5 x 2.5 mm, globose-ovoid, whitish, exceeding the petals, styles short or lacking, stigma lobes erect or slightly recurved, blunt, fleshy, whitish. Fruits: ± globose, black. (Hodel, D. 1992. Chamaedorea Palms, The Species and Their Cultivation. The International Palm Society.)A

Materials Examined