Chamaedorea fractiflexa Hodel & Cast.Mont, Principes 35: 6 (1991)

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


  • C. fractiflexa is rare, known only from a few collections in Guatemala and one in Mexico. It is closest to C. parvisecta but the more or less straight staminate rachis, thicker, ascending pistil- late peduncle, densely flowered rachillae, and ascending fruit-bearing rachillae distinguish the latter species. C. fractiflexa is not cultivated except for a few plants in the research collection in Los Angeles. (Hodel, D. 1992. Chamaedorea Palms, The Species and Their Cultivation. The International Palm Society.)A

Biology And Ecology



  • Habit: solitary, erect to decumbent, to 2 m tall. Stem: 5-8 mm diam., smooth, green, internodes 3-7 cm long, often covered with persistent leaf sheaths. Leaves: 3-8, spreading, pinnate; sheath to 12 cm long, tubular, obliquely open apically, green, longitudinally striate-nerved; petiole to 5 cm long, flat and green above, rounded and pale below; rachis to 20 cm long, angled and green above, rounded below with a pale band extending onto sheath; pinnae 5-8 on each side of rachis, lanceolate to broadly lanceolate, to 13 x 3.5 cm, regularly placed, opposite, sigmoid, long-acuminate apically, contracted basally, a prominent midrib and 2 primary nerves on each side of this, a secondary between each pair of primaries, tertiaries numerous, faint, end pinnae sometimes broader, to 6 cm wide, 4-5-nerved. Inflorescences: interfoliar, slender, spreading in flower, pendulous in fruit; peduncles to 30 cm long, very slender, 2 mm wide at base and ± flattened, 0.5-1.5 mm diam. at apex and there ± filiform, green in flower, pendulous and orange apically in fruit; bracts 5-6, prophyll 2 cm long, 2nd bract 4.5 cm, 3rd and 4th 9 cm, 5th 7 cm, often a rudimentary 6th concealed by 5th, ± loosely sheathing, brown in flower and fruit, acute to acuminate, thin-papery, finely longitudinally striate-nerved. Staminate with rachis to 3 cm long, strongly flexuous, green; rachillae 5, these to 7 cm long, each attached at an "elbow" of rachis, green and slightly drooping in flower. Pistillate with rachis to 1 cm long, green in flower, orange in fruit; rachillae 3, these to 7 cm long, green in flower, downwardpointing and orange in fruit. Flowers: Staminate ± densely arranged, 1-2 mm apart, in bud 2-2.5 x 1-1.5 mm, bullet-shaped, at anthesis 2.5 x 2.5 mm, obovate; calyx to 0.75 x 1.5-2 mm, shallowly lobed, sepals connate and/or slightly imbricate nearly to apex, broadly rounded to straight apically, 0.5 mm wide; petals 3 x 1 mm, long-ovate, valvate nearly to base, erect apically, acute, lightly nerved on inside; stamens 1.5-1.75 mm high, filaments 0.5-1 mm long, darkened, anthers I mm long, oblong, bilobed, spreading apically and basally, dorsifixed, yellowish; pistillode 1.5-2.5 mm high, columnar, slightly lobed and widened apically, finely longitudinally striated. Pistillate: loosely arranged, 3-4 mm apart, 1 x 1.5-1.75 mm, ± globose; calyx 0.75 x 2 mm, deeply lobed, obscurely nerved, sepals connate in basal 1/4, acute apically; petals 1.5 x 1.5-2 mm, lightly imbricate basally, erect apically, acute, obscurely nerved; pistil 1. 5 x I mm, ovoid. Fruits: 8 x 7 mm, ± globose, black.?? (Hodel, D. 1992. Chamaedorea Palms, The Species and Their Cultivation. The International Palm Society.)A

Materials Examined