Chamaedorea neurochlamys Burret, Notizbl. Bot. Gart. Berlin-Dahlem 11: 744 (1933)

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Map uses TDWG level 3 distributions (
Mexico Southeastpresent
MEXICO. Campeche. Chiapas. Quintana Roo. GUATEMALA. Alta Verapaz. Huehuetenango. Izabal. Peten. BELIZE. Cayo. Stann Creek. Toledo. HONDURAS. Atlantida. Comayagua. Cortes. La Paz. Ocotepeque. (Hodel, D. 1992. Chamaedorea Palms, The Species and Their Cultivation. The International Palm Society.)A


  • Burret (1933a) described and named C. neurochlamys from material that Tuerckheim collected near Cubilguitz, Alta Verapaz, Guatemala in 1915. It is fairly common in Belize and known there as "monkey-tail." Because of its red, subreniform fruit it has been confused in cultivation with C. concolor (= C. pinnatifrons) and. the elusive C. falcifera. The Mexican forms of C. pinnatifrons (referred to as C. concolor) have only recently been introduced to cultivation although material of C. pinnatifrons from Venezuela has been in gardens and collections since the middle 1970s. As mentioned earlier, C. falcifera is known only from the type and a few collections and is not, at least in its typical form, in cultivation. Future work may, in fact, show it to be nothing more than a variant of C. neurochlamys. Differences among these three species are summarized below:
    C. falcifera 3-4 pinnae/side; fruit falciform; leaf sheath pale or only briefly white at apex.?C. pinnatifrons 1-9 pinnae/side; fruit globose; leaf sheath pale or only briefly white at apex.?C. neurochlamys 7-8 pinnae/side; fruit subreniform; leaf sheath distinctly white at apex.
    Stevenson (1974) discussed C. concolor in south Horida but based on his description of the plants as having 5-7 pinnae on each side of the rachis, it seems probable that the species in question is C. neurochlamys. Vegetatively, C. neurochlamys is somewhat similar to the variable and widely cultivated C. oblongata. The green apex ofthe leafsheath, free and spreading staminate petals, and black fruits distinguish C. oblongata. Krempin (1990, p. 94) discussed and illustrated C. neurochlamys but the description and photograph depict C. tepejilote.
    Chamaedorea neurochlamys is a handsome and attractive palm but is especially striking when bearing infructescences heavily laden with bright orange or red fruits. It is cultivated in Hawaii, California, Horida, and, perhaps, elsewhere. In 1977, the Seed Bank of the International Palm Society and the Huntington Botanical Gardens in San Marino, California distributed seeds of C. neurochlamys erroneously as C. falcifera from collections made by the latter institution in Belize. (Hodel, D. 1992. Chamaedorea Palms, The Species and Their Cultivation. The International Palm Society.)A

Biology And Ecology



  • Habit: solitary, slender, erect, 1.5-4.5 m tall. Stem: 1.5-2.5 cm diam., smooth, green, ringed, internodes 5-15 cm long. Leaves: 3-5, pinnate, dull dark green above, glossy green below; sheaths 18 cm long, tubular, obliquely open apically and there whitish when fresh and green longitudinally striate-nerved; petiole 15-29 cm long, lightly grooved and green above, rounded and pale yellow below; rachis 45-65 cm long, angled and green above, rounded below with a pale yellow or whitish band extending onto sheath; pinnae 6-8 on each side of rachis, lower central ones longest, these 23-33 x 5-6.5 cm, uppermost pinnae slightly broader, 14-16 cm long on upper margin, 5-nerved,lower pinnae smaller, narrowly rhombic-sigmoid, regularly spaced and remote except lower 2-3 ± closer, acuminate, narrowed basally, prominent midrib and submarginal primary nerves shining and slightly keeled toward base above and pale and shining below, 4-5 slightly less prominent secondaries on each side of midrib, tertiaries fine and numerous. Inflorescences: inter- or infrafoliar, solitary; peduncles 40-60 cm long, 1.5 cm wide at base, 6-9 mm wide at apex, erect and greenish yellow or whitish in flower, arching and downwardcurving slightly and red-orange in fruit; bracts 5-6, tubular, appressed, fibrous, brownish in flower, often fallen away in fruit, longitudinally striate-nerved, acuminate, slender, uppermost exceeding peduncle. Staminate with rachis 4-7 cm long, green; rachillae 15-20 or more, these 15-20 cm long, slender, pendulous, light green. Pistillate erect in flower, nodding in fruit; rachis 6-10 cm long, green in flower, red-orange in fruit; rachillae 10-25, these 9-14 cm long, slender and ascending but drooping when heavily laden with fruits, yellow-green in flower, red-orange in fruit. Flowers: Staminate in rather dense spirals, 2 mm high, yellowish, scarcely sunken; calyx 0.5 mm high, shallowly lobed; petals valvate, connate apically and basally and apically adnate to pistillode and corolla opening by lateral slits, prominently nerved when dry; stamens with short filaments, anthers not bifid apically; pistillode longitudinally 3-angled, truncate apically. Pistillate in lax spirals, 2-3 x 2.5 mm, globose, greenish yellow, scarcely sunken; calyx 0.75-1 x 2-2.5 mm, lobed, yellowish, sepals connate in basal 1/2-2/3 broadly rounded apically; petals 2.5 x 2.5 mm, imbricate nearly to apex, acute, strongly nerved when dry; staminodes not seen; pistil 2-3 x 2 mm, subglobose, yellow, styles short or lacking, stigma lobes short, recurved, clearcolored. Fruits: 10 x 5 mm, subreniform or sometimes nearly bilobed or sickle-shaped, yellow to bright orange-red when soft ripe but ageing to dark brown when fully ripe; abortive carpels adhering to fruit at maturity. (Hodel, D. 1992. Chamaedorea Palms, The Species and Their Cultivation. The International Palm Society.)A

Materials Examined

  • BELIZE. Cayo: Gentle 2494 (MICH); Gentry 7734 (F); Hodel 842A, 842B (BH). Stann Creek: Schipp 296(F, GH, MICH, S). Toledo: Boutin 5000,5125, 5172 (HNT); Peck 616 (GH). GUATEMALA. Alta Verapaz: Hodel 1006 (AGUAT, BH); Watson 134, 404 (GH). Huehuetenango: Steyertnark 49295 (F). Izabal: Steyermark 38755,39184 (F). Peten: Steyermark 45368 (F). HONDURAS. Atlantida: Standley 52907, 55388, 56744 (F, GH); Tellez 8794 (MEXU); Yuncker 8517 (F). Comayagua: Molina 5844, 10822 (F). Cortes: Zuniga 525 (UNAH); Barkley 40791 (GH). La Paz: Molina 13871 (F). Ocotepeque: Blackmore 3868 (UNAH). MEXICO. Campeche: Shepherd 113 (WIS). Chiapas: Carlson 2101 (F); Martinez 6979 (MEXU). Quintana Roo: Cabrero 5575 (MEXU). (Hodel, D. 1992. Chamaedorea Palms, The Species and Their Cultivation. The International Palm Society.)A