Chamaedorea warscewiczii H.Wendl., Bonplandia (Hannover) 10: 37 (1862)

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Map uses TDWG level 3 distributions (
Costa Ricapresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Panamápresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
PANAMA. Code. Colon. Darien. Panama. Veraguas. COSTA RICA. Alajuela. Cartago. Guanacaste. Heredia. Limon. San Jose. (Hodel, D. 1992. Chamaedorea Palms, The Species and Their Cultivation. The International Palm Society.)A


  • The description is from Wendland (1862) and supplemented from Bailey (1943a) and our own collections in Costa Rica and Panama. Warscewicz collected C. warscewiczii in Costa Rica and introduced it to European gardens by the middle ofthe 19th century. Wendland (1862) described and named it from cultivated plants at Herrenhausen. Chamaedorea warscewiczii is similar to C. matae and some forms of the highly variable C. pinnatifrons. The very broad apical pinnae and pendulous (even in flower) pistillate rachillae distinguish C. matae. The erect (in flower) pistillate rachillae, thicker and rounded fruiting rachillae, and fruits that mature from a green through a yellow, orange, or red stage before ageing to brown or black distinguish C. pinnatifrons. Also, the pinnae of C. warscewiczii have conspicuous and smooth but not keeled nerves above and sharply keeled nerves below, features lacking in C. matae and C. pinnatifrons.
    C. warscewiczii is quite distinctive in fruit; the fruiting rachillae are slender and all uniformly curved in the same direction. I have observed C. warscewiczii in Costa Rica along the trail down to the river at CA.T.I.E. near Turrialba and below San Miguel along the Rio Sarapiqui. In both places it grows with C. tepejilote and C. macrospadix. In Braulio Carrillo National Park we observed it growing with C. pumila. In Panama, we found it on Cerro Campana with C. tepejilote. Bailey (l943a) referred to the populations on Cerro Campana as C. flavovirens.
    Chamaedorea warscewiczii is a handsome species due to its leafy crown and broadly rhombic and sigmoid pinnae. It was reintroduced to cultivation in the late 1970s and fruiting plants occur at Lyon Arboretum in Hawaii (L-78.796). The International Palm Society Seed Bank distributed seeds in 1987 and 1988 from collections in Costa Rica (Hodel 636, 702) as C. flavovirens. (Hodel, D. 1992. Chamaedorea Palms, The Species and Their Cultivation. The International Palm Society.)A

Biology And Ecology



  • Habit: solitary, erect, infrequently decumbent, to 5 m tall. Stem: 1.5-3.5 cm diam., smooth, green, ringed, internodes 5-15 cm long. Leaves: 4-8, pinnate, erect-spreading; sheath 15-25 cm long, tubular, obliquely open apically, green with a whitish margin briefly apically, a yellow ridge extending from petiole, drying brownish and persistent, longitudinally striate-nerved; petiole 15-35 cm long, slightly grooved and green above, rounded and pale below; rachis 35-50cm long, 2-3 mmdiam. apically and strongly attenuate, angled and green above, round and with a yellow band below extending onto sheath; blade oval or elliptic; pinnae 5-7 on each side of rachis, 25-37 x 2-13 cm, broadly sigmoid, rhombic, alternate, short-acuminate, ± leathery, contracted basally and there conspicuous because of 5-9 curved primary nerves, these smooth above and not much elevated but sharply keeled and elevated below, less distinct secondaries between each pair ofprimaries, end pair ofpinnae confluent and ± broader basally. Inflorescences: interfoliar but often infrafoliar in fruit, erect but becoming nodding or drooping when heavily laden with fruits; peduncles 30-60 cm long, 1-1.5 cm wide at base and ± flattened, 3-5 mm wide at apex, erect-arching, greenish white or yellowish in flower, red-orange in fruit; bracts 5-6, tubular, fibrous, brownish in flower and in fruit and often falling away, tightly sheathing, acuminate, bifid, longitudinally striate-nerved, uppermost longest and exceeding peduncle; rachises 5-15 cm long, light green in flower, red-orange in fruit. Staminate with 15-25 rachillae, these 20-30 cm long, pendulous, glabrous, light green in flower. Pistillate with rachillae 10-15, these to 25 cm long, slender, ± spreading and light green in flower, downward-curving and orange in fruit. Flowers: Staminate in rather lax spirals, 2-3 x 1.5-1.7 mm, ovate-globose, flattened apically, greenish yellow, only slightly sunken in shallow rounded depressions; calyx 0.5-1.5 mm, shallowly lobed, nerved, sepals imbricate basally, rounded apically; petals valvate, connate apically and basally and apically adnate to pistillode and corolla opening by lateral slits, acute-acuminate, nerved. Pistillate in rather lax spirals, 2 x 1.5-1.7 mm, ovoid-globose in bud; calyx 0.5-0.75 x 1.5-1.75 mm across, ringlike, shallowly lobed, nerved, sepals connate nearly to apex, straight apically; petals imbricate nearly to apex, acute-acuminate, nerved; pistil 2 x 1.7 mm, ovoid-globose, styles short or lacking, stigma lobes short, recurved. Fruits: 13 x 7 mm, ovoid to globose, tapered basally; seeds sharply pointed at site of attachment. (Hodel, D. 1992. Chamaedorea Palms, The Species and Their Cultivation. The International Palm Society.)A

Materials Examined

  • COSTA RICA. Alajuela: Burger 11206 (F). Cartago: Hodel 702A, 702B (BH, CR); Wendland 32 (GOET). Guanacaste: Garwood 733 (BM); Schatz 1099 (WIS). Heredia: Hodel 722 (BH, CR). Limon: Tonduz 12925 (BM, M, P). San Jose: Hodel 968 (BH, CR). PANAMA. Code: Hodel 744 (BH, PMA). Colon: Folsom 3739 (MEXU). Darien: Folsom 6352 (BH, MEXU); Gentry 28606 (BH, PMA). Panama: Alston 8913 (BM); Bartlett 16932 (MICH); Croat 1975 (PMA); Hodel 725A, 725B (BH, PMA); Kennedy 667 (F); Mendez 152 (PMA); Mori 4960 (MEXU, MO), 7690 (PMA); Porter 4129 (BH). Veraguas: Croat 23101 (BH, MEXU, PMA); Mori 4805 (BH). (Hodel, D. 1992. Chamaedorea Palms, The Species and Their Cultivation. The International Palm Society.)A