Chamaedorea rigida H.Wendl. ex Dammer, Gard. Chron. , III, 1904(2): 246 (1904)

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


  • Dammer (l904b) described and named C. rigida using a name that Wendland had suggested. The description is supplemented from my own collection in Oaxaca and an examination of the type. Its placement in subgenus Chamaedoropsis is tentative since we are lacking staminate flowers. Vegetatively, C. rigida bears a resemblance to C. stricta but the stemless and larger habit, larger leaves with conspicuous petioles, thinner blades with parallel margins, and non-flexuous pistillate rachillae distinguish the latter species.
    Chamaedorea rigida is one of the most striking members of the genus with its rigid crown of numerous, stiff, thick, dark green, bifid leaves with short or no petioles. On small plants the bifid blades seem to be arising from the leaf litter of the forest floor. The crown of stiff, ascending leaves tends to act as a litter collector, funnelling fallen leaves, twigs, and other material into the center ofthe plant where it can build up around the stem to 50 em in depth. Known from only a few collections, C. rigida is rare in the wild and not cultivated. (Hodel, D. 1992. Chamaedorea Palms, The Species and Their Cultivation. The International Palm Society.)A

Biology And Ecology



  • Habit: solitary, erect to leaning, initially appearing stemless and flowering then but eventually to 2 m tall. Stem: dark green, shining, smooth, prominently ringed, internodes to 4 em long. Leaves: 10-15, erect-spreading, bifid; sheath to 15 cm long, deeply split opposite petiole and tubular only in basal 3-4 em, green, very stiffand hard, durable, nearly woody; petiole to 7 cm long or lacking; rachis 20 em long; blade 35-45 x 14 cm, obovate, incised apically 1/2 its length, rigid, dark shining green, thickened, cuneate-angustate basally, lobes elongate-triangular, 35-45 x 13 em, 6-10 cm wide at base, minutely toothed on apical margin, 12-1 5 primary nerves on each side of rachis, 2 secondaries between each pair of primaries, tertiaries numerous, faint. Inflorescences: Staminate not seen. Pistillate 40-50 cm long; peduncle 45 em long, 6 mm wide at base and there flattened, 2 mm diam. at apex; bracts 6-7, prophyll 3 cm long, 2nd bract 8 cm, 3rd 15 cm, 4th 20 cm, 5th 25-30 cm, 6th 20 cm, 7th 9 cm, tubular, longitudinally striate-nerved, acute-acuminate, bifid, uppermost exceeding peduncle; rachis to 3 cm long, green in flower, orange in fruit; rachillae 3-5, these to 12 cm long, slender, longitudinally angled, green in flower, orange in fruit, flexuous or undulate when dry. Flowers: Staminate not seen. Pistillate (only fruiting perianth seen) with calyx 0.75 mm high, lobed; petals 3 x 1.5 mm, acute, faintly nerved when dry. Fruits: 7-8 mm diam., globose, black; perianth adherent to fruit. (Hodel, D. 1992. Chamaedorea Palms, The Species and Their Cultivation. The International Palm Society.)A

Materials Examined