Chamaedorea simplex Burret, Notizbl. Bot. Gart. Berlin-Dahlem 11: 758 (1933)

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Distribution

Map uses TDWG level 3 distributions (http://www.nhm.ac.uk/hosted_sites/tdwg/geogrphy.html)
Guatemalapresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Mexico Southeastpresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
GUATEMALA. Alta Verapaz. Baja Verapaz. Huehuetenango. MEXICO. Chiapas. COLOMBIA? (Hodel, D. 1992. Chamaedorea Palms, The Species and Their Cultivation. The International Palm Society.)A

Discussion

  • The description is from Burret (1933a), Standley and Steyermark (1958), and our own collections. Burret stated that C. simplex is one of the most distinctive and elegant members of the genus. The leafy crown of thick, bifid, deeply incised and wide-spreading blades and spicate inflorescences in both sexes characterize this attractive plant. According to Standley and Steyermark (1958), C. simplex is one of the neatest and handsomest of all the Guatemalan Chamaedorea, of very distinctive appearance and easily recognizable even in the sterile state. After seeing it in the wild in Alta Verapaz and Huehuetenango in Guatemala, I agree fully with the above assessments of its handsomeness. Apparently, the only cultivated plants are in the research collection in Los Angeles. A Kalbreyer collection from Antioquia, Colombia is tentatively referred to C. simplex. (Hodel, D. 1992. Chamaedorea Palms, The Species and Their Cultivation. The International Palm Society.)A

Biology And Ecology

Etymology

Description

  • Habit: solitary, slender, erect to decumbent, to 2.5 m tall. Stem: 5-12 mm diam., green, shining, ringed, internodes 2.57 cm long, aerial roots basally. Leaves: 6, spreading, bifid; sheath 7-9 cm long, tubular, obliquely and briefly open apically for 1.5-2 cm, glabrous, green, conspicuously and densely longitudinally striated; petiole 2.5-14 cm long, usually shorter than sheath, slender, green; rachis 2-5 cm long; blade bifid, incised apically for 3/4 its length or more, as much as 20 cm long on upper margin, 5 cm wide, lobes broadly divergent, sigmoid, short-acuminate, curved along outer margin, ± thick, dark green above, paler below, 6-7 primary nerves on each side of rachis, these prominently keeled above, 2 thinner much less conspicuous secondaries between each pair of primaries, these visible above and below. Inflorescences: interfoliar, solitary. Staminate spicate, to 50-60 cm long; peduncle to 15-25 cm long, less than 1 mm wide just below flowering portion, erect; bracts at least 2-3 and probably several more, closely sheathing, 2 mm diam., glabrous, longitudinally striated, obliquely open apically, lanceolate, acute, upper bract exceeding peduncle and extending onto flower-bearing portion; rachis or flower-bearing portion to 25 cm long, pendulous. Pistillate spicate, 30-50 cm long, erect-spreading in flower, nodding in fruit; peduncle 20-35 cm long, erect in flower, spreading in fruit; sheaths similar to those of staminate but upper one apparently not exceeding peduncle; rachis or flower-bearing portion 8-9 cm long, erect-spreading in flower, becoming nodding and orange in fruit. Flowers: Staminate very densely arranged but not contiguous in bud, ± sunken in elliptic depressions 3 mm long; calyx 1.5 mm high, shallowly lobed, densely nerved when dry, sepals connate in basal 2/3, broadly rotund apically; petals 2-3 mm long, valvate, connate apically and basally and adnate apically to pistillode and corolla opening by lateral slits, densely nerved when dry; stamens with filaments 0.75 mm long, anthers 1 mm long or a little more, 0.5 mm wide, oblong, dorsifixed; pistillode 1.5 mm high, columnar. Pistillate in lax spirals, 2.5-3 x 3-3.5 mm, ± globose, sunken in elliptic depressions 2.5-3 mm long; calyx 1-1.5 x 3 mm, shallowly lobed, densely nerved when dry, sepals connate in basal 3/4-5/6, broadly rounded apically; petals imbricate nearly to apex, free apically, suborbicular; staminodes lacking; pistil ovoid, stigma lobes pointed, slightly curved. Fruits: 9-12 x 7.5-9 mm, rounded apically, ellipsoid or oblong, black, shining, seeds 5 mm diam., subglobose; abortive carpels adherent to fruit; perianth prominently nerved when dry (Hodel, D. 1992. Chamaedorea Palms, The Species and Their Cultivation. The International Palm Society.)A

Materials Examined