Chamaedorea stolonifera

Geoff Stein - Author & Editor

Pronunciation: kam-uh-DOR-ee-uh sto-lun-NIFF-er-uh


Common Name:

Chamaedorea stolonifera is one of the best suckering understory palms for California. Similar in appearance to Chamaedorea brachypoda, with its classic bifid (fishtail-like) ridged leaves, but a much better looking, more durable and far less apt to be nutrient deficient of the two. Some even consider this an invasive species. One of the better potted palm species, and seems to do pretty well indoors as well.

Appearance and Biology
  • Habit: multiple stems with crowns of 3-4 bifid leaves
  • Height: 3'-6' tall
  • Trunk: multiple stems, upright or sprawling, arizing from rhizomes that grow along the soil surface, or just beneath it; stems 1/4" in diameter; bright green, well-spaced rings, very smooth
  • Crownshaft: 2" to 4" long nearly imperceptible pseudo-crownshaft same diameter and color as stem (bright green)
  • Spread: 1' tp 10' wide shrubs
  • Leaf Description: bifid (modified pinnate); leaves split about half their length; leaves have smooth grooves and rounded edges; 8"-10" long
  • Petiole/Leaf bases: 2" long tubular, smooth
  • Reproduction: dioecious; male plants reportedly rare in cultivation
  • Inflorescence: 1' upright, unbranched
  • Fruit: spherical and blackish when ripe
Horticultural Characteristics
  • Minimum Temp: 26F
  • Drought Tolerance: moderate
  • Dry Heat Tolerance: moderate
  • Wind Tolerance: poor
  • Salt Tolerance: unknown
  • Growth Rate: very slow
  • Soil Preference: moist, well draining, but tolerant of clay soils
  • Light Requirement: filtered sun to shade
  • Human Hazards: none
  • Disease or Horticultural Problems: no known
  • Transplants?: fairly good
  • Indoor?: very good indoor palm, though rhizomes tend to leave pots
  • Availability: rare but often available at specialty nurseries


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