Ceroxylon parvifrons

From Palmpedia - Palm Grower's Guide
Jump to: navigation, search
Ceroxylon (seh-ROKS-ih-lon)
parvifrons (pahr-VIH-frohns)
Putumayo, Colombia. Photo by Dr. Rodrigo Bernal/Palmweb.
Scientific Classification
Genus: Ceroxylon (seh-ROKS-ih-lon)
parvifrons (pahr-VIH-frohns)
None set.
Native Continent
Habit: Solitary
Leaf type: Pinnate
Survivability index
Common names
Ramo, Palma Ramo, Palma Real (Colombia), Ramos, Palma Real (Ecuador), Palma de Cera (Venezuela).

Habitat and Distribution

Ceroxylon parvifrons is found in Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela.
"Darold has great drainage with his deep sandy soil and is situated in the Sunset area of San Francisco where foggy and overcast conditions persist for weeks in Summer with temperatures in nmidsummer sometimes not exceeding 60 F ( 16 c )." (Troy Donovan). Photo by Troy Donovan.
In the Andes. Widely distributed throughout the Andes from Venezuela (Mérida, Táchira) and Colombia to Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia, in wet montane forest, at 2100-3150 (-3500) m, usually found above 2600 m. Sometimes it forms populations of several individuals. Among the species of Ceroxylon and all palms it grows at the highest elevations in the world, up to 3500 m in Ecuador. (Maria Jose Sanin and Gloria Galeano. 2011)/Palmweb.


Stem solitary, to 15 m tall, 15-35 cm in diameter, grey to white with dark leaf scars. Leaves 2-3.5 m long; pinnae 70-85 on each side, regularly inserted in one plane, stiff, horizontal, the central ones to 50 cm long and 4-5 cm wide, below with a light brown to white, waxy indument. Inflorescences curved to pendulous, to 2 m long, branched 2-3 times. Fruits globose to oblong, 15-25 mm in diameter, smooth, orange-red. (Borchsenius, F. 1998)/Palmweb.

Stem 4-12 (-17) m tall, (6-) 10-30 (-35) cm in diameter, usually cylindrical, less frequently very thick at the base and thinner toward the apex, greyish, brown-grayish or brown, covered with a very thin layer of wax. Leaves (8-) 12-15 (-17) in the crown, erect, arched, in a hemispheric or funnel-shaped crown; sheath 45-90 (-104) cm long, covered with thick indumentum of intermixed, membranous, whitish to light-brown, more or less deciduous scales; petiole (13-) 21-69 (-90) cm long, (1.8-) 2.5-6.0 cm wide at base, adaxially glabrescent, with ferrugineous, linear, translucent, very long (2-9 mm) scales, surface covered with brown, stiff, scales; rachis (80-) 100-180 (-270) cm long, notoriously arched, adaxially flattened in ¼-½ of its length, ending in a well-defined, 0.1-2.0 mm hastula-like projection, distal portion of adaxial surface of rachis covered with white, deciduous scales, and abaxial surface covered with deciduous brown, thin, scales; pinnae (34-) 49-84 (-96) on each side of rachis, regularly and very closely inserted, arranged in one plane, erect, firm, leathery, plicate, apex inequilateral by 0.5?3.0 cm, adaxially dark green, smooth with the midrib prominent, covered with floccose, deciduous, scales and persistent scale bases, abaxial midrib covered with linear, translucent, brownish scales, surface covered with thick brown-ferugineous, or rarely yellowish scales;


"My plant of C. parvifrons was never in a pot after germination. After the eophyll was fully expanded I ground planted the seedling beneath a Chamaedorea microspadix in March of 1991. The establishment phase was quite slow, with no above ground trunk for the first 12 years. In the past 6 years it has grown 3.72 m (12' 2") of true trunk with a diameter of 17 cm (6.75"). It holds 9-11 good leaves, has flowered twice, and is a male plant. Note that the trunk below the leafbases is more green. The characteristic white wax is a response to sunlight and develops after exposure. My plant is also more white on the sunny side relative to the shady side! (Darold Petty), "Darold has great drainage with his deep sandy soil and is situated in the Sunset area of San Francisco where foggy and overcast conditions persist for weeks in Summer with temperatures in nmidsummer sometimes not exceeding 60 F ( 16 c )." (Troy Donovan)

PFC for PP.png

Comments and Curiosities

Conservation: In Venezuela, C. parvifrons has been categorized as Endangered according to the IUCN criteria, mainly due to habitat destruction caused by deforestation practices for agricutural purposes (Llamosas et al. 2003). In Colombia it was categorized as Nearly Threatened (NT; Galeano & Bernal 2005) because, although it is a species that is widely distributed along the country - therefore not fitting into a threat category, deforestation processes in the Andes are so vast that populations are expected to have been severely diminished. It is strongly emphasized that complete, and updated information on the conservation status of this species is necessary. (Maria Jose Sanin and Gloria Galeano. 2011)/Palmweb.

Uses: The young leaves are traditionally cut to be used on Palm Sunday during Easter. In Ecuador, the wax from the stem was used for making candles.

External Links


Phonetic spelling of Latin names by edric.

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

Special thanks to Palmweb.org, Dr. John Dransfield, Dr. Bill Baker & team, for their volumes of information and photos.

Glossary of Palm Terms; Based on the glossary in Dransfield, J., N.W. Uhl, C.B. Asmussen-Lange, W.J. Baker, M.M. Harley & C.E. Lewis. 2008. Genera Palmarum - Evolution and Classification of the Palms. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. All images copyright of the artists and photographers (see images for credits).

Borchsenius, F. 1998. Manual to the palms of Ecuador. AAU Reports 37. Department of Systematic Botany, University of Aarhus, Denmark in collaboration with Pontificia Universidad Catalica del Ecuador.

Maria Jose Sanin & Gloria Geleano in Phytotaxa 34 (2011). 2011. A revision of the Andean wax palms, Ceroxylon (Arecaceae).

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

Back to Palm Encyclopedia

Retrieved from "https://palmpedia.net/wiki/index.php5?title=Ceroxylon_parvifrons&oldid=134738"