Chamaedorea woodsoniana

Geoff Stein - Author & Editor

Pronunciation: kam-mee-DOOR-ee-uh wood-soan-ee-ANN-uh

Common Name:

Chamaedorea woodsoniana is the largest of all the Chamaedorea and is not a true understory palm. However, it is not a great full sun palm, either, so best to grow this one under some tall canopy trees. It is one of the only Chamaedoreas with a true 'trunk', and nice, attractive green, ringed one, too. From Central America, and Colombia. Despite its ornamental look and impressive size, it is still a relatively rare palm in southern California.

Chamaedorea vistae is a synonym

Appearance and Biology
  • Habit: solitary with a crown of 3-6 pinnate leaves
  • Height: 20'-25'
  • Trunk: single; smooth; prominently ringed; bright green (looks like a big bamboo culm); 3"-4" thick
  • Crownshaft: 12"-18"; green; same diameter as trunk
  • Spread: 8'
  • Leaf Description: pinnate; upright (falls off before reaching horizontal); flat to slightly 'Vd' in cross section; leaflets stiff and not drooping except at very tips; leaflets grooved; 4'-5' long
  • Petiole/Leaf bases: smooth 360 degrees with slight depression on dorsal surface; unarmed; 1' long
  • Reproduction: dioecious
  • Inflorescence: 2' long and projecting laterally from trunk below crownshaft; branched
  • Fruit: spherical; 1/2"; light orange to red to red-black when ripe
  • Seed:
Horticultural Characteristics
  • Minimum Temp: 25F
  • Drought Tolerance: poor
  • Dry Heat Tolerance: poor
  • Wind Tolerance: poor
  • Salt Tolerance: poor
  • Growth Rate: very slow to moderate with age
  • Soil Preference: moist and rich/acidic
  • Light Requirement: filtered sun
  • Human Hazards: none
  • Disease or Horticultural Problems: none
  • Transplants?: unknown
  • Indoor?: unknown
  • Availability: rare, but occasionally available at palm specialty nurseries; note many times seedlings sold as this end up being something else

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