Chelyocarpus dianeurus (Burret) H.E.Moore, Principes 16: 74 (1972)

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Map uses TDWG level 3 distributions (
Colombia present (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Western Colombia at elevations near sea level as an undergrowth palm in low rainforest, usually on slopes. (Moore, H.E. 1972: Chelyocarpus and its Allies Cryosophila and Itaya (Palmae))A


  • Fresh flowers of other species of Chelyocarpus have been available for study but for C. dianeurus only those of the type have been seen. These are blackened and leave much to be desired in the way of analysis. Fruits collected in late November, 1971, and distributed through the seed bank of The Palm Society were greenish and perhaps had not achieved their fully mature color but seeds began to germinate at Cornell University in late March, 1972. Chelyocarpus dianeurus and C. ulei are very similar in aspect but are clearly different in flower and fruit. The normally tetramerous flowers readily distinguish C. dianeurus from all other palms. (Moore, H.E. 1972: Chelyocarpus and its Allies Cryosophila and Itaya (Palmae))A

Common Name

  • Noli fide Archer, but this name is elsewhere applied to Elaeis oleifera fide Dugand; quitasol but this name also used for Mauritia (d. Dugand) and probably other fan palms. (Moore, H.E. 1972: Chelyocarpus and its Allies Cryosophila and Itaya (Palmae))A


  • According to Archer, local Amerindians make pillows from the indument of sheath and petiole base. (Moore, H.E. 1972: Chelyocarpus and its Allies Cryosophila and Itaya (Palmae))A


  • Trunk gray, to ca. 5 m. high or more, 6-9 cm. in diam. Leaves ca. 10 or more; sheaths to ca. 3 dm. long, brown.fibrous.margined, the inner ones densely golden appressed. villous; petiole as long as the blade or longer, 1-1.3 m. long, ca. 1.5 cm. wide at base and apex, brown furfuraceous lepidote becoming glabrate; hastula deltoid with incurved margins, ca. 2 cm. high, 2 em. wide; blade green and shining above, silvery below, 0.65-1.12 m. long, to 1.2 m. across, divided centrally to within 15-18 (or 3-5 fide Dugand) cm. of the base, divided laterally to or nearly to the base into 5-7 elongate-cuneate many-ribbed segments 1.2 m. long, 7-25 cm. wide, each again divided into 3-6 acute l-ribbed segments 8-24 cm. long, 2-4.5 cm. wide, these with the midrib prominent below, the midrib, a lateral nerve on each side, and numerous oblique cross-veinlets evident above, lower surface covered with a continuous layer of thin white membranous scale3, these rubbing off on contact. Inflorescences several among the leaves, to ca. 8 dm. long; peduncle ca. 5 dm. long, flattened at base, brown tomentose when protected, bearing a prophyll inserted ca. 21 cm. above the base and 2 sterile bracts at intervals of ca. 14. and 10 cm. respectively, these (fide Burret) to 25 cm. long, oblonglanceolate, densely dull gray-whitetomentose outside; rachis ca. 35 cm. long with ca. 50 simple rachillae, the lowest to 16 em. long, upper shorter, each subtended by a small fertile bract. Flowers sessile or on a low tubercle, subtended by a short bract; perianth 2.5 mm. high; sepals 4, ovate or nearly semiorbicular, slightly imbricate, rounded at apex; petals 4, longer than the sepals, ovate-oblong or oblong, rounded; stamens 8 (-9) , filaments flattened, broad basally, narrowed above, nearly filiform at the anthers, these oblong; carpels 2 or rarely 1. Fruit greenish or probably yellowish or whitish at full maturity, globose or subglobose, 1.8-2.0 cm. wide, 1.7-2.0 cm. high; epicarp not tessellate; mesocarp whitish, ca. 1.5-2 mm. thick when fresh: seed depressed-globose, ca. 1.6 cm. wide, 1.3 cm. high, the seed coat thickened and slightly intruded on either side of the hilum; embryo in lower third; germination remote-tubular with 1 scale leaf and bifid eophyll. (Moore, H.E. 1972: Chelyocarpus and its Allies Cryosophila and Itaya (Palmae))A

Materials Examined

  • COLOMBIA. DEPT. CHOCO: headwaters of the Rio Tutunendo, east of Quibdo, May, 1931, W. A. Archer 2199 (US, holotype). DEPT. VALLE: Buenaventura, 23 May 1926, O. F. Coole 132 (US); 26 May 1926, O. F. Coole 146 (US); 29 May 1926, O. F. Coole 158 (US); forests in concession of Carton Colombia, Baja Calima region, north of Buenaventura, 0-50 m. alt., 10 Feb. 1967, H. E. Moore Jr M. V. Parthasarathy & Pablo Orjuela '9458 (BH, CALI); forested slopes in Carton Colombia concession, near Rio San Joaquin Baja Calima region, north of Buenavcntura alt. 0-50 m., 24 Nov. 1971, H. E. Moore, Jr. & M. Gutierrez 9999 (BH, CALI). Another collection cited by Dugand has not been seen_ Dept. Valle: Rio Calima, La Trojita, 5-50 m. alt., 19 Feb.-l0 Mar. 1944, J. Catrecasas 16702 (COL). (Moore, H.E. 1972: Chelyocarpus and its Allies Cryosophila and Itaya (Palmae))A


    A. Moore, H.E. 1972: Chelyocarpus and its Allies Cryosophila and Itaya (Palmae)
    B. World Checklist of Arecaceae