Chamaedorea oblongata

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oblongata (ob-long-GAH-tah)
Chamaedorea oblongata wideleafz.jpg
Wide leaf form.
Scientific Classification
Genus: Chamaedorea
oblongata (ob-long-GAH-tah)
Chamaedorea lunata, Chamaedorea biloba, Chamaedorea paradoxa, Chamaedorea corallina, Chamaedorea fusca
Native Continent
Habit: Solitary
Leaf type: Pinnate
Survivability index
Common names
Caquib, xate macho - Guatemala; tepejilote, palmilla, brillosa, palmita, chate - Mexico. Pacayita?

Habitat and Distribution

Chamaedorea oblongata is found in Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico Central,
450px-Chamaedorea oblongata3z.jpg
Mexico Gulf, Mexico Northeast, Mexico Southeast, Mexico Southwest, and Nicaragua. MEXICO. Campeche. Chiapas. Oaxaca. Quintana Roo. Tabasco. Veracruz. GUATEMALA. Alta Verapaz. Izabal. Peten. BELIZE. Belize. Cayo. HONDURAS. Atlantida. Cortes. NICARAGUA. Jinotega. Matagalpa. Moist or wet lowland forest on the Atlantic slope; alt. to 350 m elevation; often on limestone.


Habit: solitary, erect, occasionally decumbent, 1-3 m tall. Stem: 1-2.5 cm in diam., smooth, green, ringed, internodes 4-15 cm long. Leaves: 3-8 per crown, erect-spreading, pinnate; sheath 15-20 cm long, tubular, obliquely open apically, prominently costate; petiole 15-30 cm long, slightly grooved and green above, rounded and pale below; rachis 30-60 cm long, angled and green above, rounded and with a distinct yellow band below extending onto sheath; pinnae 5-9 on each side of rachis, middle ones 17-40 x 3.5-10 cm, variable in shape, lanceolate to rhombic-Ianceolate to oblong-trapezoid, sigmoid, mostly alternate, ± leathery, thick, regularly disposed, narrowly and caudately long-acuminate or attenuate-acuminate, oblique basally, deep green, glossy above, paler below, a midrib and 2 sub-marginal primary nerves, these not keeled and ± obscure above, yellowish and shining below, 3 secondaries on each side of midrib, these inconspicuous as are numerous and fine tertiaries, apical pinnae shorter than middle ones and generally narrower. Inflorescences: infrafoliar, erect-spreading, 20-70 cm long; peduncles 10-40 cm long, green in flower, reddish orange in fruit; bracts 5-7, tubular, brown in flower, thin, fibrous, acute-acuminate, bifid, longitudinally striate-nerved, uppermost equalling peduncle; rachis 2.5-12 cm long, green in flower, reddish orange in fruit. Staminate with 9-25 or more rachillae, these to 30 cm long, 2-3 mm in diam., pendulous, slightly angled, green in flower. Pistillate with 6-20 or more rachillae, these 9-16 cm long, ± stiff, ascending, spreading, 2 mm in diam., green in flower, swollen and reddish orange in fruit. Flowers: Staminate in dense spirals, 3-4 x 3-4.5 mm, ovoid to obovoid, greenish drying black, superficial or slightly sunken; calyx 0.5-1 x 2 mm, lobed, green, sepals connate in basal 1/2, broadly rounded to acute apically; petals 3-4 x 1.5-2 mm, valvate, free to nearly base and there connate briefly, erect then spreading to reflexed, acute, tips slightly recurved, thin, slightly transparent; stamens 1.5-2 mm long, spreading, filaments 0.75-1 mm long, adnate basally with petals, green, anthers 1 mm long, longer than filaments and briefly bifid apically, long-oblong, yellow; pistillode 2.5-3 mm high, columnar, slightly lobed apically, light green. Pistillate in loose spirals, 2 x 2.5-3 mm, depressed-globose, greenish yellow drying black, scarcely sunken; calyx 0.5-1 x 22.5 mm, deeply lobed, sepals connate in basal 1/3, broadly rounded to acute apically; petals 2.5 x 2-2.5, broadly ovate, imbricate nearly to apex, connate basally briefly, thin, ± straight or acute, slightly fleshy, transparent, brown-margined, drying dark brown in fruit with abortive carpel adherent to smallest petal; staminodes 3, triangular; pistil 1.75-2 x 2 mm, depressed-globose, green, styles lacking, stigma lobes separated, sessile, angular. Fruits: 8-14 x 6-8 mm, variable in shape, ovoid-ellipsoid or sometimes falciform or slightly lunate, attenuate at each end, or ± globose, shining black at maturity, epicarp thin, not transparent, mesocarp slightly fleshy, green, mucilaginous, aromatic, dense, fibrous; seeds 7-11 x 5-6 mm, ellipsoid. (Hodel, D.R. 1992)/Palmweb. Editing by edric.


Warm, sheltered and moist. Suitable even for a warm temperate climate.

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Comments and Curiosities

Chamaedorea are dioecious, male, and female flowers, on separate plants.

Etymology: From the Latin oblongus meaning oblong, in reference to the shape of the fruits or pinnae.

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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