Chamaedorea stricta Standl. & Steyerm., Publ. Field Mus. Nat. Hist., Bot. Ser. 23: 207 (1947)

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Map uses TDWG level 3 distributions (
Costa Ricapresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Guatemalapresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Mexico Southeastpresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Panamápresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
MEXICO. Chiapas. GUATEMA LA. San Marcos. COSTA RICA. San Jose. PANAMA: Veraguas. (Hodel, D. 1992. Chamaedorea Palms, The Species and Their Cultivation. The International Palm Society.)A


  • The description is from Standley and Steyermark (1947, 1958) and supplemented from our collections. Standley and Steyermark noted that of the few species with bifid leaves, C. stricta is outstanding for the greatly elongate, stiffly erect, radical inflorescences. It is similar to C. rigida but the much shorter petioles and peduncles, stiffer blade smooth and rounded pistillate rachillae, and the pIant eventually with a visible above-ground stem distin- guish the latter species. C. stricta is a spectacular plant to see in the wild as the crown of numerous large, bifid, dark green leaves on long petioles seems to arise directly from the leaf litter. The blades are not too dissimilar in color and texture from those of C. metallica.
    Chamaedorea stricta is rare in the wild in Guatemala where it is apparently confined to Volcán de Tajumulco and Cerro de Mono in San Marcos. It has only recently been discovered in Costa Rica and Panama. Only one collection represents the species from Chiapas, Mexico. C. stricta does not appear to be cultivated. (Hodel, D. 1992. Chamaedorea Palms, The Species and Their Cultivation. The International Palm Society.)A

Biology And Ecology



  • Habit: solitary, erect, appearing stemless, to 1.5 m tall. Stem: 2.5-3 cm diam., curved, creeping at or below leaflitter, to 15 cm long, densely ringed, internodes to I cm long. Leaves: 3-7, erect to ascending, bifid; sheath 8-27 cm long, long-open, attenuate apically, rather laxly striate-nerved, dark green; petiole 25-60 cm long, to 7 mm thick, flat and dark green above, rounded and dark green below; rachis 15-55 cm long, angled and dark green above, rounded and dark green below; blade 20-75 x 13-28 cm, rectangular, deeply incised apically, lobes long-acuminate, cuneate basally, margins ± parallel, dark nearly bluish green, ± paler below, 12-17 primary nerves on each side of rachis, these prominent below, secondaries numerous, very slender and inconspicuous. Inflorescences: inter- or infrafoliar, arising from base of plant and often from leaflitter; peduncles 80-100 cm long, 2 mm wide at apex, erect, slender, stiff; bracts 7-10, lowest ones 7 cm long, middle ones 11-28 cm, 4 mm wide, narrowly tubular, pale green with very slender nerves, obliquely open apically. Staminate branched portion to 24 cm long; rachis 3.5 cm long, green; rachillae 7, these to 10 cm long, slender, spreading or slightly drooping, ± flexuous, pale green in flower. Pistillate with rachis 1.5-3 cm long, green in flower, red-orange in fruit; rachillae 2-4, these 8-14.5 cm long, erect, straight, smooth, rounded, green in flower, rather stout and red-orange in fruit. Flowers: Staminate borne densely, ovoid to globose, bright yellow, rather deeply sunken in narrowly elliptic depressions 2.5 mm long; calyx very short, 2.5 mm wide, very shallowly lobed, sepals connate in basal 3/4; petals 4 mm high, broadly ovate, valvate, free nearly to base, erect, obtuse. Pistillate in remote spirals, scarcely sunken in elliptic or oval depressions 2.5 mm long; calyx 3.5 mm wide, deeply lobed, sepals connate and/or imbricate in basal 1/4-1/3; petals 3 x 3 mm, imbricate, nearly orbicular; staminodes present and prominent in fruiting corolla. Fruits: 8 mm diam. or long, broadly rounded, subglobose; seeds nearly as large as dry fruit, globose, whitish brown. (Hodel, D. 1992. Chamaedorea Palms, The Species and Their Cultivation. The International Palm Society.)A

Materials Examined