Chamaedorea microphylla H.Wendl.
  • Bot. Zeitung (Berlin) 17: 102 (1859) 

Notes: Distribution: Panama

General Description

Habit: solitary, slender, erect, to 1 m tall. Stem: 1.5 cm diam., smooth, densely white-spotted and ± glaucous, internodes 4-7 cm long. Leaves: 3-5, erect-spreading, pinnate; sheath 7-9 cm long, tubular, briefly open apically, moderately thick, longitudinally striate- nerved; petiole 10 cm long, flattened and grooved toward base and green above, rounded and green below; rachis to 25 cm long, angled and green above, rounded below with a narrow pale band extending onto sheath; rachis, petiole, and upper part of sheath minutely white-spotted; pinnae 7-9 on each side of rachis, middle ones 10-17 x 3-4 cm, narrowly lanceolate to oblonglanceolate or long-trapezoid, lowest pinnae lanceolate and long-acuminate, to 9 x 1 cm, ± reflexed, sigmoid, falcate, abruptly short-acuminate, strongly contracted basally, dull dark green, not decurrent, alternate or subopposite, downward-cupped so drying wrinkled, thin, nearly transparent when dry, middle and upper ones regularly spaced, lower ones closer together, prominent midrib as well as 2 primary nerves on each side of this and several secondaries, upper pair confluent with 3 prominent nerves, interior margin 7-9 cm long. Inflorescences: infrafoliar, erect-spreading; peduncles 15-40 cm long, 4-5 mm wide at base, 1-2 mm diam. at apex, green in flower where exposed; bracts 5-7, prophyll to 1.5 cm long, 2nd bract 2 cm, 3rd 6 cm, 4th-6th 9-12 cm, 7th 9 cm long and equalling or exceeding peduncle, tubular, thin-papery, brownish at anthesis, shredded or fallen away in fruit, bifid, acute-acuminate, longitudinally-striated. Staminate with rachis 5-10 cm long, flexuous, longitudinally angled, green, nodding; rachillae 12-15, 10-18 cm long, narrowly divergent from rachis, spreading basally, drooping apically, longitudinally angled, simple or lower rachillae forked, green. Pistillate with rachis 3-7 cm long, flexuous, longitudinally angled, green in flower, probably orange or red in fruit; rachillae 7-12, these 4-8 cm long, slender, ± straight but flexuous, strongly undulate when dry, narrowly divergent from rachis, spreading, simple or some of lower ones forked, green in flower, probably orange or red in fruit. Flowers: Staminate in loose spirals, 2.5-3 x 2-2.5 mm, ovoid, yellow, slightly sunken in elliptic to oblong pits 2-2.5 mm long; calyx 0.5-0.75 x 2-2.5 mm, shallowly lobed, membranous, transparent when dry, sepals connate in basal 3/4, rounded to acute apically; petals 3 x 1-1.5 mm, long-ovate, valvate, free nearly to base, spreading apically, acute, membranous, nearly transparent and lightly nerved when dry; stamens 1.5-1.75 mm high, filaments 1-1.5 x 0.3 mm, basally flared and connate and forming a ring around pistillode, anthers 0.5 mm long, elliptic to oval; pistillode 2 mm high, broadly columnar, tip expanded. Pistillate in loose spirals, in bud 1.5-1.75 x 1.5 mm, conicovoid, yellow, slightly sunken in elliptic to oval depressions 1.5 mm long; calyx 0.5 x 1.5 mm, lobed, membranous, green, sepals imbricate in basal 1/2-3/4, rounded to acute apically; petals 1.75 x 1.5-2 mm, broadly ovate, briefly connate basally, imbricate nearly to apex, erect, acute; staminodes 6, small; pistil 1 x 0.75-1 mm, conic-ovoid, styles short or lacking, stigma lobes short, recurved, not exceeding petals. Fruits: perhaps full size but not soft ripe, 6 x 4 mm, oblong, green drying black.


Moist, windswept cloud forest; 1,000 m elevation or more.


PANAMA. Chiriqui.

Distribution Map

  • Native distribution
Found in
  • Southern America Central America Panamá


  • 1 Govaerts, R. & Dransfield, J. (2005). World Checklist of Palms: 1-223. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • 2 Govaerts, R. (1999). World Checklist of Seed Plants 3(1, 2a & 2b): 1-1532. Continental Publishing, Deurne.
  • 3 Hodel, D. 1992. Chamaedorea Palms, The Species and Their Cultivation. The International Palm Society.

 Information From

Palmweb - Palms of the World Online
Palmweb 2011. Palmweb: Palms of the World Online. Published on the internet Accessed on 21/04/2013
  • A Content licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License
eMonocot. (2010, 1st November). Retrieved Wednesday, 8th February, 2012, from
  • B Content licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License
World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
WCSP 2014. 'World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. Facilitated by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet; Retrieved 2011 onwards
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