Chamaedorea woodsoniana

From Palmpedia - Palm Grower's Guide
Jump to: navigation, search
8743561255 a3078d118e o.jpg
Photo by Gilo Giacomozzi.
Scientific Classification
Genus: Chamaedorea
None set.
Native Continent
Habit: Solitary
Leaf type: Pinnate
Survivability index
Common names

Habitat and Distribution

Chamaedorea woodsoniana is found in Belize, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala,
Huntington Gardens, southern California. Photo by Geoff Stein.
Honduras, Mexico Gulf, Mexico Southeast, Mexico Southwest, Nicaragua, and Panamá. PANAMA. Chiriqui. Cocle. Darien. Panama. Veraguas. COSTA RICA. Alajuela. NICARAGUA. Matagalpa. HONDURAS. Atlantida. GUATEMALA. Baja Verapaz. El Pregreso. Huehuetenango. Zacapa. MEXICO. Chiapas. Oaxaca. Veracruz. COLOMBIA? Wet montane forest and cloud forest; 800-2,000 m elevation.


Habit: solitary, erect, ± stout, 5-12 m tall. Stem: 5-10 cm in diam., green, ringed, nodes white and prominent, to 2.5 cm wide, internodes to 20 cm long, prop roots evident (at least in some cultivated material) to 60 cm up stem. Leaves: 4-6 in the crown, erect-spreading, pinnate; sheath 30-80 cm long, swollen, tubular, clasping, obliquely open apically, green, strongly longitudinally striate-nerved; petiole to 30 cm long, flattened or grooved especially toward base and green above, rounded and green below with a pale yellow or yellow-green band extending onto rachis; rachis 1-1.5 m long, sharply angled and green above, rounded and pale below; petiole and underside of rachis densely covered with small, irregular pits giving living material a rough texture; pinnae to 36 on each side of rachis, these 30-65 x 3.5-5 cm, linear-Ianceolate, ± straight or only slightly falcate, acuminate, horizontal or ascending off rachis, dull dark green, a prominent midrib and 2 primary nerves on each side of this, these conspicuous but not much raised above (only midrib prominent above in dried material), all 5 nerves strongly elevated and prominent below, secondaries numerous and faint. Inflorescences: inter- or infrafoliar in flower, infrafoliar in fruit, erect but nodding when laden with fruits; peduncles to 75 cm long, ± stout, 2.5-3 cm wide at base and there flattened, 1-1.5 cm diam. at apex and there ± rounded, erect and greenish in flower, orange apically and nodding in mature fruit; bracts 5, prophyll to 12 cm long, 2nd bract to 30 cm, 3rd to 35 cm, 4th to 60 cm, this exceeding peduncle and concealing smaller 5th bract to 12 cm, tubular, fibrous, shredded and brownish at anthesis, often fallen in mature fruit, acute-acuminate, bifid, longitudinally striate-nerved. Staminate large with a rachis to 75 cm long, erect, straight, green, longitudinally ridged; rachillae to 100, basal ones largest, to 50 cm long, 1-2 mm diam., mostly unbranched but sometimes forked, becoming progressively shorter toward apex of rachis, drooping, green. Pistillate with rachis to 40 cm long, greenish and erect in flower, orange and downward-pointing in mature fruit, basal branches ramified 1-2 times; rachillae to 50, these to 30 cm long, erect or ascending and dark green in flower, orange and downward- pointing in mature fruit.


Cold Hardiness Zone: 9a

PFC for PP.png

Comments and Curiosities

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

Etymology: Honors R. L. Woodson, collector of many Panamanian plants. (Hodel, D.R. 1992)/Palmweb.

There are two var. of this species, a smaller form from Mexico, and var. Gigante, from Panama, and perhaps into Colombia.

"One of the largest Chamaedorea, this palm from rainforests stretching from southern Mexico to Panama, or possibly northern Colombia, can reach up to 12 m (40 ft.) tall. It produces a slender, green, solitary trunk, that holds a crown of up to 6 ascending leaves with stiff leaflets. Like other Chamaedorea, it adapts extremely well to cultivation and does best in a warm temperate climate under some canopy. It is tolerant of cool conditions and will take an occasional light winter freeze without damage." (

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.

Back to Palm Encyclopedia

Retrieved from ""