A Field Key to the Palms of Belize
Steven W. Brewer
Biology Department, Rhodes College
2000 N Parkway, Memphis, TN 38112
e-mail: Brewer_Steven@rhodes.edu and firstname.lastname@example.org
Comments, caveats, and an invitation for suggested improvements: The following key is part of an on-going project to create a field guide to the woody plants of Belize. The present key is a modification of Brewer (1999); it includes a nested-hierarchical format, species additions, and some changes to the character information based on recent field experience. Highly recommended companion literature includes Henderson et al.’s (1995) Field Guide to the Palms of the Americas and Hodel’s (1992) work on Chamaedorea. The latter includes many outstanding photographs of species in their natural environment, and is a valuable aid to identification of this diverse and often-difficult genus.
As keys are human constructs, they are not fool-proof tools for field identification. Please email comments on better characters for separating taxa, information regarding new species to Belize, or any other suggestions for improving this key to
Please remember that, when visiting Belize, permission to collect herbarium specimens or other plant material is required via a research/collection permit from the Belize Forest Department (Conservation Division, Forestry Drive, Belmopan, Belize).
Acknowledgements: I thank the Conservation Division of the Belize Forest Department for permission to conduct research in Belize. Greg de Nevers first encouraged me to publish this key, and he patiently read and provided helpful comments on earlier versions. Jody Haynes did the tedious work of turning a dichotomous key into a web page. Donald Hodel provided valuable comments on the genus Chamaedorea. C. Bijleveld, J. Meerman, and D. Hodel provided suggestions for improvements and comments on potential and actual species.
Balick, M. J., M. Nee & D. E. Atha. 2000. A Checklist of the Flora of Belize, With Common Names and Uses. Mem. N. Y. Bot. Gard. 85:1-246
Bijleveld, C.F.A. 1998. The Vegetation of the Shipstern Nature Reserve: a structural and floristic approach. International Tropical Conservation Foundation, Switzerland. 136 pp.
Brewer, S.W. 1999. The Palms of Belize: Species Richness and a Key Based on Vegetative Characters. Palms (formerly Principes 43(3): 109–113)
Henderson, A.H., G. Galeano, R. Bernal. 1995. Field guide to the palms of the Americas. Princeton University Press, Princeton, N.J.
Hodel, D.R. 1992. Chamaedorea Palms: The Species and Their Cultivation. Allen Press, Lawrence, Kansas
Last modified February 2003. Modified from Brewer, S.W. 1999. The Palms of Belize: Species Richness and a Key Based on Vegetative Characters. Palms (formerly Principes) 43(3): 109–113.
26 genera, 49 species total
(25 genera, 41 species found plus 1 genus, 8 species potential*)
Note: Species in boldface are additions or changes to the previous version of this key. Nomenclature follows Henderson et al. (1995) except where noted.
(Griseb. & H. Wendl.) H. Wendl. ex Becc.
(Heynhold) R. Evans
(unconfirmed, reportedly cultivated)
* denotes potential species
Click here to enter the key
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