Chamaedorea adscendens

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adscendens (ahd-SEN-denz)
Scientific Classification
Genus: Chamaedorea
adscendens (ahd-SEN-denz)
Kinetostigma adscendens, Tuerckheimia adscendens
Native Continent
Habit: Solitary
Leaf type: Pinnate & bifid.
Survivability index
Common names
Velvet Palm

Habitat and Distribution

Chamaedorea adscendens is found in Central America (GUATEMALA. Alta Verapaz. Peten.
BELIZE. Toledo). It grows to an elevation of 700 m in moist or wet forest on the Atlantic slope on solid limestone. It is not widly distributed - occurring only on infrequent steep hillside locations near the summits.


Chamaedorea adscenders is an unusually attractive small palm growing to a maximum height of 2.5 meters after many years. It is generally available from specialty nurseries. Its velvety textured grey-blue-green leaves are some of the thickest in the genus. Usually pinnate, some bifid leaves are not uncommon, generally occurring on the younger individuals. Since it is a solitary palm, it is particularly stunning when planted as a small grouping. Such a display deserves a place in any garden where a grouping of small palms would make a good addition. Editing by edric.


Warm, sheltered and moist. It will survive in mild Mediterranean type climates. Like most Chamaedoreas it benefits from a clean layer of mulch. Since it is found on limestone, appropriate pH and addition of lime may prove beneficial in certain growing situations. It is from a region which has sometimes prolonged drought conditions, and anecdotal reports from gardeners indicates it is indeed quite drought tolerant, especially for such a dainty tropical looking palm.

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Comments and Curiosities

Chamaedorea is a dioecious genus with male and female flowers occuring on separate plants. The Greek is translated to mean “gift on the ground” - possibly referring to the small stature and pleasant surprise of finding such a gem at your feet.

Adscendens is a Latin word for ascending, apparently in reference to the inflorescences. However, the author did not specifically note whether it was referring to such.

External Links


Phonetic spelling of Latin names by edric.

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

Special thanks to, 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).

Hodel, D.R.1992. Chamaedorea Palms, The Species and Their Cultivation. The International Palm Society.

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

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