Chamaedorea falcifera H.E.Moore, Principes 2: 68 (1958)

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


  • The description is taken from Moore (1958), who described and named the species from material that Steyermark had collected in Guatemala, C. falcifera is noted for its curious, strongly sickle-shaped fruits; in fact, the shape of the fruits seems to be the only reliable character distinguishing it from C. pinnatifrons. Fruits are orange to red at maturity, similar to those of C. pinnatifrons and C. neurochlamys.
    At least as typified by the type, C. falcifera is not in cultivation and material so referred is C. neurochlamys. C. falcifera is somewhat of an enigma and only the type and a few other collections represent it in herbaria. We have searched for it without success at the type locality. It is either very rare, extinct, or an atypical C. neurochlamys or C. pinnatifrons. (Hodel, D. 1992. Chamaedorea Palms, The Species and Their Cultivation. The International Palm Society.)A

Biology And Ecology



  • Habit: solitary, slender, 1-6 m tall. Stem: 5-7 mm diam., internodes 1.5-3.2 cm long. Leaves: 3-5, pinnate; sheath 6-9 cm long or more, tubular, briefly oblique apically and there striate-nerved; petiole 6-15 cm long or more; rachis 10-25 cm long, both petiole and rachis pale below; pinnae 3-4 on each side of rachis, end pair largest, these 14-21 cm long on upper margin and 5-10 cm along rachis with one side lower than other, lower pinnae progressively smaller, middle ones 11-20 x 2.5-5 cm, basal ones 7-15 x 1-3 cm, sigmoid, acute to acuminate, rich shining green above, paler dull green below, basal and middle ones with a prominent midrib and submarginal primary nerves, 1-3 secondaries on each side of midrib, at least midrib ± keeled, end pair with 4-7 primary nerves keeled above, these pale and shining below when dry, 24 secondaries between primaries, these inconspicuous. Inflorescences: inter- or infrafoliar, arching, nodding, solitary; peduncles 15-21 cm long; bracts 3-4, these tubular, brown, lower ofwhich is inserted I cm above flattened base, uppermost slightly exceeding peduncle in staminate plants; rachises 1-2 cm long. Staminate with 4-7 rachillae, these 6-15 cm long, pendulous, slender, green. Pistillate with 4-8 rachillae, these 5-15 cm long, slender, ± stiff, orange in fruit. Flowers: Staminate in moderately dense spirals, yellowish green, essentially superficial but leaving elliptic scars 2 mm long; calyx 0.75-2 mm, deeply lobed, strongly nerved when dry, sepals connate and/or imbricate nearly to apex, rounded or straight apically; petals valvate, connate apically and basally and adnate apically to pistillode and corolla opening by lateral slits, stamens subsessile, anthers entire apically, divided basally; pistillode equalling stamens, ± columnar, truncate apically. Pistillate with calyx 0.7 mm high in fruit, shallowly lobed, strongly nerved; petals 2 mm high in fruit, imbricate, strongly nerved; staminodes absent; pistil not seen. Fruits: 10-14 x 3-4 mm, sickle-shaped, acute apically, orange to red, essentially superficial on rachillae, mesocarp strongly fibrous, endocarp membranous; seeds 9 x 2 mm; perianth persistent at base of fruit, abortive carpels adherent to fruit at maturity. (Hodel, D. 1992. Chamaedorea Palms, The Species and Their Cultivation. The International Palm Society.)A

Materials Examined