Prestoea carderi

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Prestoea (pres-toh-EH-ah)
carderi (kahr-DEH-ree)
Mt Warning Caldera, Nth NSW, Australia. Photo by Pete.
Scientific Classification
Genus: Prestoea (pres-toh-EH-ah)
carderi (kahr-DEH-ree)
None set.
Native Continent
Habit: Clustering
Leaf type: Pinnate
Survivability index
Common names
Ecuador: palmita; Peru: chucshomasha.

Habitat and Distribution

Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela. Cordillera Central and Oriental in
Scientific Center between Quevado and Santo Domingo, P. carderi at the Rio Palenque Ecuador. Photo by Jan Andersson.
Colombia (Antioquia, Caquetá, Putumayo, Tolima), western Cordillera de la Costa (Yaracuy) in Venezuela, and eastern Andean slopes in Ecuador (Morona-Santiago, Pastaza, Santiago-Zamora) and Peru (Amazonas, Huánuco); steep slopes in cloud forest at 1000-1950 m. Patchy in mountain areas in Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru, at 1000-2000 m elevation. In Ecuador it is known from a few localities on the E Andean slopes.


Stems cespitose with 1 or 2 well-developed stems, or occasionally appearing solitary and then with basal shoots, 0.5-4 m tall, 3-4 (-10) cm in diam., brown, occasionally procumbent. Leaves 3-6 ( -10), spreading. regularly pinnate or occasionally simple; sheath open and not forming a crownshaft, somewhat persistent, 30-60 cm long including a ligule to 5 cm long, reddish, fibrous distally at margins; petiole (0.3-) 0.9-2.5 m long, ± terete, densely covered with appressed, peltate-lacerate scales, glabrescent, or glabrous; rachis 1-2.4 m (22-48 cm in simple leaves) long, with scales like those of petiole; pinnae (on pinnate leaves) 13-36 (-54) on each side, regularly arranged and horizontally spreading in the same plane, subopposite or alternate, linear-lanceolate, aristate, with prominent midvein and lateral veins, midvein lacking scales abaxially, with punctations abaxially, basal pinna 32-60 x (0.2-) 1-1.5 cm; middle pinnae 35-70 (-90) x 2-4.5 (-6) cm; apical pinna 17-35 x 1-4 cm; simple leaves obovate, 38-87 cm long, 20-28 cm wide, bifid apically, with 16-20 main veins per side. Inflorescences racemose, interfoliar, erect in bud and at anthesis, arching in fruit; peduncle (0.4)-0.8-1 .4 m long, 4-10 (-20) mm in diam., terete; prophyll 18- 55 cm long, 1.5-5 cm wide; peduncular bract (0.6-) 1-2.2 m long including a 5-6 cm long umbo, persistent; rachis 18-66 cm long, densely to moderately covered with reddish brown, branched hairs; rachilae (7-) 21-59 (-l01), 8.5-27 cm long proximally, 4-10 cm long distally, about 1 mm in diam. at anthesis, 1.5-1.7 mm in diam. In fruit, slightly zig-zag, angular and almost rectangular in cross section, tending to be distichously arranged, especially distally, densely to moderately covered with clusters of reddish brown, branched hairs (occasionally glabrous); flowers in triads on proximal about ½, rachillae, paired or solitary staminate distally, the triads tending to distichously arranged on the rachillae; triad bracteole low, rounded to prominent, deltate, to 1 mm long; first flower bracteole obscure, second and third bracteoles ± equal, rounded, 0.5 mm long; staminate flowers 3.5-5.5 mm long; sepals triangular, 1-1.5 mm long, keeled; petals ovate, 2.5- 5 mm long; stamens arranged on a short receptacle; filaments 1.5 mm long, linear, flattened; anthers 1-2 mm long; pistillode 0.5- 1 mm long, trifid at apex; pistillate flowers 2-3.5 mm long; sepals widely ovate, 1.5-2 mm long, fleshy; petals triangular, 1-3.5 mm long; staminodes digitate. Fruits globose, 0.7-1 cm in diam., the stigmatic remains lateral; epicarp purpleblack, minutely tuberculate; seeds globose; endosperm ruminate; eophyll bifid. (Gloria Galeano & A. Henderson, Flora Neotropica Monograph 72)/Palmweb.


Cold Hardiness Zone: 10b

Comments and Curiosities

A smallish, clustering palm with slender stems to 4 m (13 ft.) tall, each holding a small crown of flat, pinnate or rarely simple and entire leaves. The flower stalks stand erect among the leaves. It is found from the eastern Andes in central Peru north to the Cordillera de la Costa in Venezuela, where it grows in montane rainforests between 1000 and 2000 m (3300 and 6600 ft.). Although it would make a lovely ornamental for humid warm temperate and tropical areas, it has hardly been introduced into 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).

Gloria Galeano & A. Henderson, Flora Neotropica Monograph 72

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

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