Chamaedorea stolonifera

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stolonifera (sto-loh-nih-FEHR-ah)
Male. Photo by Angelo Porcelli.
Scientific Classification
Genus: Chamaedorea
stolonifera (sto-loh-nih-FEHR-ah)
None set.
Native Continent
Habit: Stoloniferous & clustering.
Leaf type: Bifid
Survivability index
Common names
Stolon palm

Habitat and Distribution

Chamaedorea stolonifera is found in Mexico Southeast. MEXICO, Chiapas.
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Surrey, UK. Photo by Dr. William J. Baker, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew/Palmweb.
Wet forest on the Atlantic slope; alt. 600-800 m elevation; usually on limestone.


Habit: stoloniferous, 1-2 m tall, often forming colonies of the same sex to 10 m across. Stems: separated, new stems arising at a considerable distance from old ones, erect, 5-8 mm in diam., green, prominently ringed, internodes 3-6 cm long. Leaves: 5-8 per crown, spreading, bifid; sheath to 10 cm long, tubular, slightly oblique apically, longitudinally striate-nerved; petiole 5 cm long, flattened or faintly grooved and green above, rounded and pale below; rachis to 10 cm long, slightly angled and green above, rounded below with a yellowish band extending onto sheath; blade 30 x 25 cm, incised apically to 2/3rd its length, lobes divergent, oblong-lanceolate, 25-30 x 9-10 cm, deep green, acute, outer margin toothed along upper half, teeth becoming more closely spaced apically, 10 prominent primary nerves on each side of rachis, these pale and keeled above, 2 secondaries between each pair of primaries, tertiaries numerous, inconspicuous, closely spaced. Inflorescences: usually infrafoliar but sometimes interfoliar initially, solitary, erect-spreading, to 25-30 cm long; peduncles to 20 cm long, slender, erect, green in flower, orange in fruit; bracts 3-5, uppermost reaching or just extending onto rachis slightly, fibrous, lanceolate, acuminate, imbricate, green in flower, brown in fruit, longitudinally striate-nerved; rachis 1-2 cm long, green in flower, red-orange in fruit. Staminate with 2-7 rachillae, these 7-13 cm long, 1.5-2 mm in diam., spreading and flexuous, more or less rounded but slightly longitudinally angled, light green, minutely white-spotted. Pistillate with 2-4 rachillae, these to 10 cm long, slightly angled longitudinally and green in flower, becoming thickened, rounded, and orange in fruit. Flowers: Staminate in ± dense spirals, 2.5-3 x 3.5-4.5 mm, strongly depressed-globose, flattened apically, brick-red to yellow-orange, slightly sunken; calyx 1 x 2.5-3 mm, obscurely lobed, pale green to white, membranous, sepals imbricate in basal 1/2-3/4, rounded to acute apically; petals 2 x 3 mm, connate in basal 3/4, free and valvate apically, strongly cup-shaped, slightly bilobed, acute, thick, ± fleshy; stamens shorter than pistillode, filaments connate in a fleshy broad 6-toothed ring, whitish tinged with orange near apex, anthers 1 mm long, on teeth of filament ring, divaricate, pistillode barely exserted beyond petals, columnar, truncate and abruptly flared apically, orange. Pistillate in ± remote spirals, 2 x 3.5-4 mm, broadly obconical, red-orange, sunken in broadly elliptic pits; calyx 0.5 x 2.53 mm, deeply lobed, pale green, membranous, sepals imbricate in basal 1/4-1/2, rounded to acute apically; petals 2.5 x 2.5, briefly imbricate basally, free and valvate apically, acute, cup-shaped, thick, fleshy; pistil 1-1.5 mm high, depressed-globose, whitish; stigma lobes sessile, recurved, clear-colored. Fruits: 7-9 mm in diam., globose, black. (Hodel, D.R. 1992)/Palmweb.


Requirements: Full shade to filtered light. Consistently moist soil, well drained position. Warm, sheltered, and moist.

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Comments and Curiosities

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

Etymology: From the Latin stolo, meaning a stolon, in reference to the stoloniferous habit.

Male plants of this species, are rare in cultivation.

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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