Chamaedorea pachecoana Standl. & Steyerm., Publ. Field Mus. Nat. Hist., Bot. Ser. 23: 203 (1947)

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


  • The description is from Standley and Steyermark (1947, 1958) who stated that C. pachecoana is the smallest of all known palms of Guatemala and one of the most attractive. The former is certainly an arguable point since C. tuerckheimii is comparable in size. However, there is no doubt that C. pachecoana is, indeed, a most attractive plant. It is locally abundant and often grows in masses covering the ground for several square meters. Its symmetrical, rosettelike crown of numerous, ascending to spreading leaves appearing to arise from the leaflitter and bearing bright green, closely spaced, broadened pinnae is a perfect contrast to the swollen, orange, spicate inflorescences with black fruits.
    Standley and Steyermark (1958) compared C. pachecoana in habit to C. elegans. The larger habit with a visible stem and fewer leaves distinguish C. elegans vegetatively. C. pachecoana is actually more closely related to C. parvisecta and C. whitelockiana. The larger habit with a well developed, above-ground stem, fewer leaves, and inflorescences with more rachillae distinguish the latter two species. Pinnae of C. pachecoana are occasionally auriculate at the point of attachment with the rachis, and in this regard are similar to those of C. tenerrima.
    It is remarkable that a species as distinctive as C. pachecoana remained unknown for so long, especially since it was locally abundant in an area frequented by botanists in the past.
    (Hodel, D. 1992. Chamaedorea Palms, The Species and Their Cultivation. The International Palm Society.)A

Biology And Ecology



  • Habit: solitary, erect or decumbent, to 1 m tall, often flowering when appearing stemless. Stem: 7-10 mm diam., basal portion curved and subterranean, remainder with only top exposed for up to 30 cm, densely ringed, internodes 5-10 mm long. Leaves: 6-12 in a rosettelike crown, ascending-spreading, pinnate; sheath 5 cm long, long-open nearly to base, longitudinally striate-nerved, persistent; petiole 7-20 cm long, ± flat or grooved near base and green above, rounded and green below; rachis to 20 cm long, angled and green above, rounded and paler below; pinnae 7-11 on each side of rachis, 4.5-12 x 1.5-2 cm, broadly rhombic-Ianceolate or oblong-Ianceolate, sigmoid, falcate, longacuminate, arcuate-cuneate at base, sometimes very minutely auriculate with very narrow basal attachment, thin, regularly inserted, alternate or subopposite, attached at right angles to rachis or even reflexed, especially so the middle and basal ones, terminal ones confluent and sometimes slightly longer and wider than others, apex often ± twisted, margins shallowly toothed toward tip and often verrucose toward base, all pinnae 3-nerved, secondaries slender and inconspicuous. Inflorescences: inter- or infrequently infrafoliar, erect-spreading; peduncles 11-30 cm long, 2-3 mm wide at base and flattened, I mm diam. near apex, green in flower where exposed, orangered in fruit; bracts 5-7, prophyll 1.5 cm long, others 2-12 cm, narrowly tubular, to 2 mm diam., obliquely open apically, longitudinally striated. Staminate with short rachis to 1.5 cm long, green in flower; rachillae 2-6, these to 12 cm long, spreading, green in flower. Pistillate spicate or forked; rachillae or flower-bearing portion to 12 cm long, straight, greenish in flower, swollen and orange in fruit. Flowers: Staminate rather densely arranged, 3 x 2 mm, ovoid to bullet-shaped, greenish yellow, slightly sunken in elliptic depressions 2.5 mm long; calyx 0.7-0.75 x 2.5 mm, lobed, sepals connate in basal 1/2-3/4, ± acute apically; petals 3 x 1.5-2 mm, ovate, valvate, free nearly to base, incurved apically but not connate, obtuse; stamens 2-2.5 mm high, filaments 0.5-1 mm long, anthers 1-1.5 mm long, oblong-ovate, obtuse; pistillode 2 mm high, columnar. Pistillate in ± lax spirals, slightly sunken; calyx 2 mm across, shallowly lobed, sepals connate and/or imbricate in basal 3/4, broadly rounded apically; petals 2 mm long, rounded-ovate, acute, pale, lightly nerved when dry; staminodes present; pistil not seen. Fruits: 6-8 mm diam., globose or ovoid-globose, black; abortive carpels generally adherent to corolla in fruit. (Hodel, D. 1992. Chamaedorea Palms, The Species and Their Cultivation. The International Palm Society.)A

Materials Examined