Chamaedorea crucensis Hodel, Principes 34: 166 (1990)

Primary tabs

no image available


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


  • C. crucensis occurs in forest remnants adjacent to Jardin Botanico Robert y Catherine Wilson near San Vito, Puntarenas in southeastern Costa Rica. Robert Wilson established the species in his garden and over the years distributed seeds and seedlings to palm collectors and hobbyists. Moore (1971) noted it in his unpublished work on the palms of Finca Las Cruces. C. crucensis is cultivated in California and perhaps Florida and elsewhere.
    Chamaedorea crucensis is similar to C. allenii but the yellow staminate flowers with the stamens (anthers) not protruding beyond the petals at anthesis distinguish the latter species. Stamens (anthers) not protruding beyond the petals at anthesis, red fruits, and the end pair of pinnae as broad as the others combined distinguish C. zamorae, another similar species.?Although collected with certainty only at or near the type locality, C. crucensis is probably more widely distributed. I refer material from adjacent provinces of Costa Rica here although staminate material is needed for confirmation.? (Hodel, D. 1992. Chamaedorea Palms, The Species and Their Cultivation. The International Palm Society.)A

Biology And Ecology



  • Habit: solitary, erect or rarely decumbent, 1-2 m tall. Stem: 1.8-2 cm diam., green, smooth, ringed, 4-8 cm long, prominent brown stilt roots to 10-15 cm high basally. Leaves: 3-5, erect-spreading, pinnate; sheath to 30 cm long, obliquely open apically and split opposite petiole, green but distinctly pale or yellow-margined, longitudinally striate-nerved; petiole to 50 cm long, slightly grooved above toward base, rounded and pale-banded below; rachis to 80 cm long, angled and green above, rounded below with a pale band extending onto sheath; pinnae 6-11 on each side of rachis, to 35 x 6.5 cm, lanceolate, sigmoid, falcate, subopposite, regularly arranged, long-acuminate, slightly drooping apically, slightly contracted basally, shining green, 7-9 prominent and equidistant primary nerves above, apical pinnae wider with more nerves. Inflorescences: interfoliar but often infrafoliar in fruit, erect, spicate or sometimes staminate forked or rarely few-branched; peduncles to 30 cm long, 1-1.5 cm wide at base, 1 cm wide at apex, pale in flower, orange in fruit; bracts 4-6, green, deciduous. Staminate with rachis or flower-bearing portion or rachillae to 10-15 cm long, pendulous. Pistillate with rachis or flower-bearing portion to 12 cm long, straight and stiff in flower, curved, swollen, downward-pointing, and red-orange in fruit. Flowers: densely packed, contiguous in bud, angled from mutual pressure. Staminate white; calyx prominent, 3 x 2.5-3 mm, deeply lobed, sepals connate in basal 1/3, straight or rounded apically, ± double along upper margins; petals 3.5 x 2.25 mm, valvate, spreading distally; stamens prominent, filaments 4 x 0.75 mm, curved distally, anthers 1 x 0.5 mm, borne at tips of filaments and exserted above petals at anthesis, forming a stellate pattern on surface of flower; pistillode 2.5 x 0.5 mm, columnar, shorter than anthers. Pistillate 2.5-3.5 x 2.5 mm, irregular, yellowish; calyx prominent, 1.5 x 2.5 mm, ± unlobed or only slightly notched, a ringlike sheath, sepals connate to apex, ± not distinct; petals not open, imbricate, hooded, flat spically; staminodes lacking; pistil 2 mm diam., ± globose. Fruits: to 13 x 9 mm, ± triangular, rounded apically, densely packed, angled by mutual pressure, green when immature changing to red or orange near maturity and then black when soft-ripe; seeds to 8 x 6 mm, ellipsoid. (Hodel, D. 1992. Chamaedorea Palms, The Species and Their Cultivation. The International Palm Society.)A

Materials Examined