Chamaedorea pumila

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Figure 1. C. pumila

Chamaedorea pumila H.Wendl., Gard. Chron., III, 36: 246 (1904).


Homotypic Synonyms:

Nunnezharia pumila (H.Wendl.) Kuntze, Revis. Gen. Pl. 2: 731 (1891).

Heterotypic Synonyms:

Chamaedorea nana N.E.Br., Bull. Misc. Inform. Kew 1914: 156 (1914). Kinetostigma nanum (N.E.Br.) Burret, Notizbl. Bot. Gart. Berlin-Dahlem 11: 318 (1932). Chamaedorea sullivaniorum Hodel & N.W.Uhl, Principes 34: 128 (1990). Chamaedorea minima Hodel, Principes 35: 72 (1991). (Check List Royal Botanic Garden Kew, UK)

Distribution & Habitat:

C. pumila is a very ornamental palm that grows in the cloud forests on the slopes of the mountain ranges of Central America between 300 and 1200 metres. Both the Atlantic slope and in the Pacific slope from Costa Rica to western Colombia.


Solitary trunk, erect or decumbent, with 5 - 10 leaves in crown, height between 0.25 and 0.40 m and 1 - 2 cm in diameter. Has entire leaf, deeply bifid distally, with crenate or serrated edges and often have a typical color described as mottled, velvety, glaucescent, or iridescent. The inflorescence is interfoliar. The male are forked or branched clusters, curved or extended from 5 to 15 cm long, cream to yellow-green. The female are spindly or forked between 4 and 17 cm long, recurved, greenish. The fruits are smooth, globose, 0.5 - 0.9 mm in diameter and black when ripe


Shady, warm and moist.

Figure 2. C. pumila
Figure 3. C. pumila
Figure 4. C. pumila
Figure 5. C. pumila infructescence.

Contributed by:

Zulli Franceschi, Panama city (Figure 1,2,3,4&5)
Jose Grassia
Palms in Resistencia City

External Links:

Kew, PalmWeb, JSTOR, Trebrown

Google, Google Images, Flickr, PACSOA Forums, PalmTalk