Chamaedorea microspadix

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Chamaedorea microspadix
Chamaedorea microspadixda.jpg
Daytona Beach, Florida
Scientific Classification
Genus: Chamaedorea
Species: microspadix
None set.
Native Continent
Habit: Clustering
Leaf type: Pinnate
Survivability index
Common names
Bamboo Palm

Habitat and Distribution

Open forest.


Stems: Clustering, but widely-spaced stems, to 3 m tall and about 1 cm in diameter. Leaves: Pinnate, reduplicate, with slightly drooping, sigmoid leaflets spreading in a single plane and evenly spaced along the rachis, but with broader apical leaflets. Upper and lower leaflet surfaces are green, without spines or obvious tomentum. Flowers and fruits: Pendulous, about 30-60 cm long, branched to one order with 3-6 branches. Creamy white male and female flowers are borne on different plants. The spherical fruits, 1 cm in diameter, are orange-red when ripe. There is also variety with very attractive silver undersides to the leaves.

Field: Clustering, but widely-spaced palms, to 3 m tall with red fruit. Apical leaflets broader than others.

Lab: Prominent midrib and multiple secondary veins prominent on undersurface of leaflets.

Chamaedorea seifrizii, but C. microspadix has a greater distance between stems in a clump and produces red fruit, while those of C. seifrizii are black when ripe.


Sunny, moist, but well drained position. Very easy to grow. Among the most cold tolerant Chamaedorea palms; cultivated in Hawaii and Florida. Cold hardy to about 5 degrees Celsius, or even lower.


native to the open forests of eastern and central Mexico. In the wild it forms dense colonies. This plant is most distinguished by utilitarian ability to allow a temperate garden have the tropical appearance with its cold hardiness. Trunks are clustering with individuals up to 1/2 inch in diameter and ringed from leaf scars. Mature stocks range from 8 to 10 feet tall. Regular watering to keep this one moist will result in a lush spread as it is only moderately drought tolerant. The soil requirement is of no particular type, but should be well drained. The trunks have swollen leaf ring nodes and will sometimes have an adhered sheath that eventually falls. This can be planted in moderate to bright shade and some variations will actually accept direct sunlight in the cooler hours of the day with no damage. Each pinnate leaf is about 2 feet long and have 18 to 22 regularly arranged pinnate leaflets that are up to 8 inches long by 1 inch wide. There is a silver sheen to the pale green leaves and some variations actually have more sheen than others. Flower stalk emerges from among the leaves in 3 to 6 branches with fruit maturing to .4 inch diameter bright orange red berries. The inflorescence droops from among the leaves, will appear late in the summer but the emergence time may vary. The inflorescence will actually break through the sheaths on the stock. This is a dioecious plant which requires a male and female to set fertile seed. Male flowers are easily distinguished because they are in pairs. The abundant 0.4 inch diameter fruit is bright, attractive, orange-red in color and really beautifies the garden. Propagation by clump separation or from fresh seeds will take up to 2 months to germinate. Caution is advised when handling the seeds since the fruit contains oxalic acid which is a skin irritant.

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Special thanks to Geoff Stein, (Palmbob) for his hundreds of photos, edric.

Many Special Thanks to Ed Vaile for his long hours of tireless editing and numerous contributions.

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