Ceroxylon vogelianum

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Ceroxylon (seh-ROKS-ih-lon)
vogelianum (voh-jeh-lee-AHN-uhm)
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Marta Mountains of northeastern Colombia. Photo by Dick Culbert.
Scientific Classification
Genus: Ceroxylon (seh-ROKS-ih-lon)
vogelianum (voh-jeh-lee-AHN-uhm)
Ceroxylon hexandrum
Native Continent
Habit: Solitary
Leaf type: Pinnate
Survivability index
Common names
Palma de ramo, chile (Santander, Colombia), chonta (fruit; Antioquia, Colombia), palma de ramo criolla (Boyacá, Colombia); gallinazo, palma negra (Norte de Santander, Colombia), palma de cera (Venezuela).

Habitat and Distribution

Ceroxylon vogelianum is found in Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela.
San Francisco Sunset district, Darold Petty's garden. Photo by Dr. Axel Kratel.
Ceroxylon vogelianum is widely distributed through the Andes from Venezuela to Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru, in humid montane forest, at (1900-) 2200-2900 m. Although it is one of the most common palms of the high tropical Andes, it never forms extense stands, and is commonly sparse on mountain ridges. (Maria Jose Sanin and Gloria Galeano. 2011)/Palmweb.

Contrary to some sources, this species is not found in Bolivia.


Stem 3-13 (-17) m tall, 12-25 cm in diameter, rarely flexuous toward the apex, green to silverish, covered with a very thin layer of wax. Leaves 6-18 in the crown, in a very variable but always untidy, hemispheric crown; sheath (32-) 50-90 (-130) cm long, 2.5 cm wide; petiole (15-) 24-75 cm long, 2-5 cm wide at apex, adaxially glabrescent with remnant of scales, abaxially with brown-grayish indumentum, sometimes almost glabrescent; rachis (38-) 77-140 (-210) cm long, adaxially flattened in basal ½ of its lenght that end in a small almost unconspicuous hastula-like projection,


Cold Hardiness Zone: 8b

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Comments and Curiosities

This is a tillering palm, it exhibits saxophone style root growth (it has a heel), keep top third of heel above soil elevation!

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.

Sanin, Maria Jose & Galeano, Gloria. 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.

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