Ceroxylon parvifrons (Engel) H.Wendl., Palmiers : 239 (1878)

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Map uses TDWG level 3 distributions (http://www.nhm.ac.uk/hosted_sites/tdwg/geogrphy.html)
Boliviapresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)C
Colombiapresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)C
Ecuadorpresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)C
Venezuelapresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)C
Widely distributed throughout the Andes from Venezuela (Mérida, Táchira) and Colombia to Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia, in wet montane forest, at 2100-3150(-3500) m, usually found above 2600 m. Sometimes it forms populations of several individuals. Among the species of Ceroxylon and all palms it grows at the highest elevations in the world (3500 m in Ecuador; Borchsenius & Moraes 2006). (Maria Jose Sanin & Gloria Geleano in Phytotaxa 34 (2011))B



Common Name



  • Subcanopy palm. Stem solitary, to 15 m tall, 15-35 cm in diameter, grey to white with dark leaf scars. Leaves 2-3.5 m long; pinnae 70-85 on each side, regularly inserted in one plane, stiff, horizontal, the central ones to 50 cm long and 4-5 cm wide, below with a light brown to white, waxy indument. Inflorescences curved to pendulous, to 2 m long, branched 2-3 times. Fruits globose to oblong, 15-25 mm in diameter, smooth, orange-red. (Borchsenius F., Borgtoft-Pedersen H. and Baslev H. 1998. Manual to the Palms of Ecuador. AAU Reports 37. Department of Systematic Botany, University of Aarhus, Denmark in collaboration with Pontificia Universidad Catalica del Ecuador)A
  • Stem 4-12(-17) m tall, (6-)10-30(-35) cm diameter, usually cylindrical, less frequently very thick at the base and thinner toward the apex, greyish, brown-grayish or brown, covered with a very thin layer of wax.
    Leaves (8-)12-15(-17), erect, arched, in a hemispheric or funnel-shaped crown; sheath 45-90(-104) cm long, covered with thick indumentum of intermixed, membranous, whitish to light-brown, more or less deciduous scales; petiole (13-)21-69(-90) cm long, (1.8-)2.5-6.0 cm wide at base, adaxially glabrescent, with ferrugineous, linear, translucent, very long (2-9 mm) scales, surface covered with brown, stiff, scales; rachis (80-)100-180(-270) cm long, notoriously arched, adaxially flattened in ¼-½ of its length, ending in a well-defined, 0.1-2.0 mm hastula-like projection, distal portion of adaxial surface of rachis covered with white, deciduous scales, and abaxial surface covered with deciduous brown, thin, scales; pinnae (34-)49-84(-96) on each side of rachis, regularly and very closely inserted, arranged in one plane, erect, firm, leathery, plicate, apex inequilateral by 0.5?3.0 cm, adaxially dark green, smooth with the midrib prominent, covered with floccose, deciduous, scales and persistent scale bases, abaxial midrib covered with linear, translucent, brownish scales, surface covered with thick brown-ferugineous, or rarely yellowish scales; the basal filiform pinnae (14-)21-61 × 0.2-1.0 cm, basal pinnae (10th from base) (26-)37-86 × 1.0-1.6(-2.4) cm, middle pinnae (31-)46-94 × (1.5)3.5-5.5 cm, 1.5-3.5 cm appart, apical pinnae (10-)22-33 × 0.8-1.2 cm, usually free, usually free, rarely the apical 5-7 pinnae united along the margins.
    Staminate inflorescences with peduncle 84-100 cm long, covered with scale base scars or scarce fibres of degraded limb scales; prophyll 35 cm long; peduncular bracts 4-6, 40-114 cm long, covered with very thin indumentum of translucent, fragile scales; rachis 28-37 cm long, with 39-56 branches, each subtended by a membranaceous, acuminate bract; rachis and branches glabrescent; longest branches 13-25 cm long.
    Pistillate inflorescences 2-5 at one time; peduncle (72-)106-248 cm long, (1.0-)1.5-3.5 cm wide at apex, covered with ferrugineous, persistent, brownish indumentum; prophyll (18-)30-53 cm long, 5-15 cm wide at base; peduncular bracts 4-6, 29-285 cm long, and sometimes an additional, smaller, more distally inserted, 11 cm bract, all bracts covered with floccose, very thin and fragile, brown indumentum; rachis 29-97 cm long, with 34-58 branches, each subtended by a 0.5-2.0 mm long, membranous, acuminate bract; longest branches (12-)28-60 cm long; rachis and branches glabrescent.
    Staminate flowers: sepals 3, ovate-acuminate, 1.0-1.5 mm, connate in 0.4 mm (1/3-½ of total length), not reaching total length of corolla tube; petals 3, ovate-acuminate, 4-6 mm, including an acumen of 1.5 mm, connate in 1.5-2.0 mm, apex very long-acuminate; stamens (6-)8-11, 3-5 antisepalous stamens, and 3-6 antipetalous stamens, filaments 1.5-2.0 mm, inserted at basal 2/5-3/5 portion of anther, anthers 2-3 mm, anther connective not projected.
    Pistillate flowers: sepals 3, triangular-acuminate, 1.0-1.2 mm, connate in 0.8-1.0 mm (½-2/3 of total length), not reaching corolla tube; petals 3, ovate-acuminate, 3.5-5.0 mm, including an acumen of 1.3-1.5 mm, connate up to 1 mm; staminodes 6-11, with very thick filaments of 1.5-2.0 mm, abortive anthers 1.0-1.5 mm; pistil trifid, 2-3 mm diam.
    Fruits globose, orange-red when ripe, 1.3-2.2(-2.5) cm diam., exocarp smooth; fruiting perianth with sepals triangular-acuminate, 1.0-1.5 mm long, connate in 0.3-1.0, lobes not reaching or reaching the corolla tube; petals ovate-acuminate, 2.5-4.5 mm long, including an acumen of 1.0-1.5 mm long, widened at base, connate in 0.3-1.0 mm.
    Seeds 1-2 cm diam. (Maria Jose Sanin & Gloria Geleano in Phytotaxa 34 (2011))B

Materials Examined

  • BOLIVIA. La Paz: Prov. Nor Yungas, eastern slopes of the Cordillera Real (ca. 65 km) to the East of la Paz, on the road Unduavi-Coroico, 21 January 1975, A. Anderson 2 (pist.fl., immat.fr.) (COL, K, US); en camino de Chupispata a Caranavi,16°17'21" S 67°48?'9"W, 2722 m, 5 September 2007, J. Roca, L.R. Moreno, O. Moreno 345 (sterile.) (LPB); a 5 km from Chuspipata towards La Paz, 2720 m, 14 July 1987, M. Moraes & H. Balslev 850 (AAU, COL, LPB, US); Franz Tamayo, Parque Nacional Madidi, Keara, campamento Tocoaque, 14°37'05"S68°57'06"W, 2340 m, 6 November 2007, A. Araújo-Murakami & A. Fernández 3996 (immat.fr.) (LPB); Madidi, Piñalito, 29 Km en línea recta al este de Apolo por el camino a San José de Uchupiamonas, trayecto 3,5 km, 14°29'40"S 68°16'30"W, 1900-2496 m, 16 July 2002, A. Fuentes, R Alvarez, A. Araújo, H. Pariamo, F. Bascopé & M. Villanueva 5031 (juv.) (LPB); entre Tokoake y Chunkani, 14°37'52"S 68°57'37 W, 2673 m, 27 June 2005, A. Fuentes, E. Cuevas y R. Cuevas 8858, (inmat.fr.) (LPB); Provincia B. Saavedra, ANMI Apolobamba, Ininlaa, subiendo e Sita por senda de Incienseros, 15°11'41"S 68°38'36" W, 2200 m, 27 April 2005, A. Fuentes, R. Cuevas, E. Cuevas & H. Pariamo 7416 (veg.) (LPB). COLOMBIA. Antioquia: Municipality of Belmira, El Páramo farm, 3060-3130 m, 21 April 1993, D. Tuberquia & R. Fonnegra 174 (immat.fr.) (COL, HUA). Cauca: "El Ramal" to Riosucio, West of Popayán, 1800-2000 m, 3 July 1922, F. Pennell & E. Killip 8266 (st.fl.) (NY, US). Huila: between Paletará and Istmos, Istmos cabin, "Planada Achupayal de pericos", 2780 m, 21 October 1987, A. Duque 702 (fr.) (COL). Norte de Santander: municipality of Toledo, track to Páramo de Tamá, Samaria region, 2500-2600 m, 21 March 1987, R. Bernal & G. Galeano 1357 (st.fl., fr.) (AAU, BH, COL, FTG, NY); municipality of Herrán, Parque Natural Nacional Tamá, Orocué sector, towards Alto del Pesebre, 2650-3020 m, 2 April 1987, G. Lozano et al. 5554 (fr.) (COL). Putumayo: Road Pasto-Sibundoy, Vereda Santa Clara, 10 km West of Santiago, 2870 m, 22 February 1988, R. Bernal & G. Galeano 1424 (st.fl.) (AAU, BH, COL, HUA, K, NY); road El Encano-Sibundoy, down from the Páramo de Quilinsayaco, 3100 m, 13 June 2000, R. Bernal et al. 2472 (seedling) (COL). Tolima: "Perales, on the Quindío," 1918, M. T. Dowe 795 (NY). Quindío: municipality of Salento, Alto Quindío, La Marina, 3150 m, October 1992, W. Vargas 676 (fr.) (COL). Valle: Los Farallones de Cali, Pance river basin, East slope, Cuchilla Hato Viejo, 3000 m, 25 August 1991, E. Calderón 100B (seedling) (COL); municipality of Tuluá, 2-3 km from Santa Lucía to Alto La Italia, Central Cordillera, 2950-3130 m, 7 March 1988, R. Bernal et al. 1437 (fr.) (COL). ECUADOR. Azuay: West of Patul, 3 km between Huahualcay and Patul river, below Pasas de Piglión, 2670-3275 m, 19 May 1943, J. Steyermark 52632 (seedling) (US). EL ORO: between Curtincapa and Guagra Uma, 8 miles northeast of Curtincapa on southwest slopes leading to Chapel, 1500-2895 m, 6 August 1943, J. Steyermark 53916 (fr.) (F). Bolívar: Guaranda, Comuna Matiaví-Salinas, Bosque protector Peña Blanca, 01°22'S 79°05'W, 2150-2650 m, 23 January 1994, A.Alvarez et al. 1135 (immat.fr.) (QCNE, MO); Bosque Protector Mashallingo, Recinto El Arrayán, 01°22'S 79°04'W, 3200 m. 27 January 1994, Alvarez et al. 1271 (immat.fr.) (QCNE, MO). LOJA: Parque Nacional Podocarpus, Cajanúma, at Casa Predesur, 04°09'S 79°09'W, 3000 m, 23 February 1985, S.Laegaard 53624 (juv.) (AAU); Loja-Las Palmas, Cerro El Tambo, just S of Cerro Villonaco, roadside and secondary forest,04°04'S 79°14'W, 2570-3020 m, 23 July 1990, P. Jorgensen et al. 92089 (immat.fr.) (QCA); Nudo Sabanilla, S of Yangana, 4°23'S 79°10'W, 2330 m, 20 August 1982, Clements 2375 (immat.fr.) (QCA); km 14-15 (S of Loja), 04°25'S 79°10'W, 2300-2350 m, 10 August 2000, H. Balslev 6524 (infr.) (QCNE, MO). Pichincha: New road Quito-Santo Domingo, ca. 1 km W of Aloág, hacienda Gualilagna de Lasso, 2800 m, 21 May 1987, H. Balslev et al. 62547, 62548 (pist.fl., fr.) (AAU, COL, QCA); Quito, Eufrasia school, cultivated, 2860 m, 6 July 1983, A. Arguello & E. Fegan 304 (bare infr.) (QCA); Cantón Ruminiahui, Parroquia Amaguaña, Pasochoa protector forest, very moist montane forest, on the way to the summit of the Pasochoa, 00° 27'S 78° 28'W, 2800-3500 m, 7 February 1988, C. Cerón & R. Alarcón 3554 (old infl.) (MO); 10 September 1988, C. Cerón & R. Alarcón 4840 (sterile) (MO); Pasochoa west slope in Pasochoa protector forest, 78° 25'W 00° 25'S, 3000 m, 30 May 1987, U. B. Mathiesen 62561 (AAU). Zamora-Chinchipe: Loja?Zumba road, 10 Km North of Valladolid, 79°10'W 04° 29'S, 2450 m, 16 May 1987, H. Balslev et al. 62533 (fr.) (AAU, COL, QCA, QCNE); Yangana-Valladolid road, Km 13, 04 °25'S 79°10' W, ca. 2200 m, 21 January 1987, A. Barfod et al. 60164 (pist.fl.) (AAU, COL, MECN, QCA); Road Loja-Zamora km 20, at San Francisco Field Station, north-facing slopes towards quebrada San Francisco, 03°58'S 79°03'W, 2300 m, 3 August 2000, H. Balslev 6498 (juv.) (QCNE, QCA, AAU); Parque Nacional Podocarpus, road Yangana-Valladolid, km 21, wet montane forest, 79° 09'W 04° 28'S, 2650-2750 m, 2 December 1988, J. E. Madsen et al. 75834 (AAU). PERU. Cajamarca: Province Cutervo, Madre Mía, between El Suro and La Flor, NE of the Parque, 2400 m, 25 June 1992, I. Sanchez Vega & A. Miranda 6336(immat.fr.) (CPUN, NY); lower edge of Cutervo National Park, 10-15 Km N of San Andrés de Cutervo, montane cloud forest, 06°10'S 78°40'W, 2200-2250,11 February 1988, A. Gentry et al. 61492 (mat.fr.) (USM, MO). Amazonas: Bongará, 5 hours driving from Celendín to Leymebamba, 3000 m, 20 October 1990, F.Kahn & F. Moussa 2966 (fr.) (USM), 2967 (fr.) (MHNSM, MO). Cuzco: Province La Convención, Distr. Echarati, E to Río Apurimac NE to Pueblo Libre, up Mountain of Anchihuay & Bellavista, S cordillera Vilcabamba, 12°51' S 73° 30' W, 2445 m, 3 August 1998, P.Núñez et al. 23230 (immat.fr.) (USM, US). (Maria Jose Sanin & Gloria Geleano in Phytotaxa 34 (2011))B

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