Chamaedorea metallica

Common name

metallic palm, mini-fishtail palm


Stems: Solitary, erect stems, 0.5-3 m tall, 0.5-2.5 cm in diameter and ringed with narrow bands of leaf scars. Adventitious roots form near the stem base. Leaves: Pinnately veined, reduplicate, two-lobed with a ruffled or puckered upper surface between veins (which may create a two-toned appearance, but is not true variegation). Upper and lower leaf surfaces are metallic blue-green and clustered near the tip of the stem. Flowers and fruits: Inflorescence erect, with 10-12 green branches on palms with staminate flowers and a single spike (or sometimes a few branches) on plants with pistillate flowers, turning red-orange when in fruit. Orange male and female flowers are borne on different plants. The spherical to egg-shaped fruits (1-1.5 cm in length) are black when ripe.

Diagnostic features

Field: Small, solitary palm; leaves simple, two-lobed, with a metallic blue sheen

May be confused with

Chamaedorea ernesti-augusti is also a small, solitary palm with two-lobed leaves but without the distinctive metallic blue sheen of C. metallica.


Native to eastern Mexico in lowland rainforests

Scientific name

Chamaedorea metallica O.F.Cook





Last Updated May 2014