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
3b.

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

                        

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