Chamaedorea oreophila

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oreophila (or-eh-oh-FILL-ah)
Scientific Classification
Genus: Chamaedorea
oreophila (or-eh-oh-FILL-ah)
None set.
Native Continent
Habit: Solitary
Leaf type: Pinnate
Survivability index
Common names
Tepejilote, tepejilote Cimarron - Mexico.

Habitat and Distribution

Chamaedorea oreophila is found in Mexico Gulf, Mexico Southwest. MEXICO. Veracruz. Oaxaca. Wet forest on the Atlantic slope; alt. 1,000-1,500 m elevation; often on limestone.

So. California. Chamaedorea oreophila (pinnate) with Chamaedorea nubium (bifid).


It differs from most Chamaedorea, as it sends out multiple bloom spikes from the same node on the trunk, long, ascending, unbranched inflorescences that reach well beyond the leaves. Most only send out one. It also has beautiful orange/red fruit which will remain on the plant for a long time before they fall off. The male plant has attractive cream/yellow "catkins" that hang down. Editing by edric.

Habit: solitary, erect, 1-3 m tall. Stem: 0.6-2 cm in diam., green, minutely but conspicuously whites-potted, prominently ringed, internodes 1-6 cm long. Leaves: 5-13 per crown, erect-spreading, pinnate; sheath 10-25 cm long, fibrous, light green, densely white-spotted, white-margined, longitudinally green-striate-nerved, drying brown, durable, and ± persistent; petiole 7-35 cm long, light green with granulated white spots, slightly grooved above, rounded and pale green below; rachis 40-80 cm long, obtusely angled and light green above, rounded and pale green below; pinnae 14-25 on each side of rachis, 16-35 x 1.5-4 cm, narrowly lanceolate, falcate or slightly sigmoid, ± stiff and not drooping, acuminate apically, oblique basally, alternate or sub-alternate, 1.5 cm apart, dark lustrous green, prominent yellowish central midrib and 2 primary nerves on each side of this. Inflorescences: interfoliar, erect, spicate, long-pedunculate, exceeding leaves, very slender; peduncles 60-140 em long; bracts 6-10, upper one the largest and exceeding peduncle, to 37 cm long, slightly membranous or fibrous, acuminate, green in flower, green or brown in fruit.


Requirements: Full shade to filtered light when young, filtered light to partial shade when mature. Consistently moist soil, well drained position. Often planted in groupings. Cold hardy to below 25`F. with cover. It makes a pretty potted plant and does well outside under some canopy in the warm temperate garden. Likes it very humid.

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Comments and Curiosities

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

Etymology: From the Greek oreophilus meaning mountain-loving, in reference to the habitat.

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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