Group I Group II Group III

A Field Key to the Palms of Belize

GROUP IV Stems slender, cane like, usually green or brown, rarely taller than 5 m
(* potential species)

1a. Leaves simple.
2a. Stems, clumped via rhizomes, <1 cm diameter. *Chamaedorea brachypoda
2b. Stems solitary, often >1 cm diameter.
3a. Stems 3–5 cm diameter or acaulescent adults; leaves 8–15 or more, usually leaf sheaths brownish.
4a. Apparently acaulescent (stems short, underground); leaves usually not simple; inflorescences spicate and with a deciduous bract (leaving a conspicuous scar) near the apex of the peduncle; fruits obovoid to 2 cm diameter, green to black. Calyptrogyne ghiesbreghtiana
4b. Stems not underground (as adults), 3–5 cm diameter; leaves bifid; inflorescences branched, fruits reddish. Asterogyne martiana

Leaves mostly 38, bifid or not; leaf sheaths green; stems <2 cm (to 3 cm in C. pinnatifrons) diameter.

5a. Leaf blades bifid or compound, thick, leathery and rigid, with a velvety aspect, blue-gray- green; female infl. spicate, male infl. with 2–10 branches; restricted to limestone hilltops. Chamaedorea adscendens
5b. Leaf blades bifid or not, thin, not blue-gray-green.
6a. Leaves bifid for 1/3 of their length, but usually some leaves pinnate; leaf sheaths tubular only near the base; stem <0.75 m tall, often apparently stemless; female infl. spicate or bifurcate, male infl. with 10–25 branches. *Chamaedorea pygmaea
6b. Leaves bifid for >1/3 of their length; leaf sheaths tubular for +1/2 of their length; stem conspicuous, potentially >0.75 m.
7a. Leaf blade obscurely nerved above, <15 cm wide, to 30cm long, more or less oblong; female infl. usually with up to 3 flowering branches, male infl. with 1-6 branches. Chamaedorea geonomiformis
7b. Leaf blade prominently nerved above, usually >20 cm wide, to 75 cm long, more or less obovate; female infl. with >3 flowering branches or spicate.
8a. Leaf blades thick, simple, with >12 major veins per side; female infl. usually spicate, rarely with up to 4 branches, male infl.with 13–25 branches. Chamaedorea ernesti-augustii
8b. Blades thin, rarely all simple, with <10 major veins per side; female infl. usually with up to 20 flowering branches, rarely spicate, male infl. with 2-45 branches. Chamaedorea pinnatifrons
1b. Leaves compound. Go to Group IV, p.2


PACSOF Home Page

VPE Home Page

VPE Table of Contents

VPE Photo gallery

Virtual Palm Encyclopedia Site Map
Powered by FreeFind.

This site is copyrighted 1998-2006, Palm & Cycad Societies of Florida, Inc.
For questions or comments, e-mail the webmaster.
Internet hosting provided by Zone 10, Inc.