SCIENTIFIC NAME: Chamaedorea
COMMON NAME(S): Parlor palm, Bamboo palm, Reed palm
FAMILY: ARECACEAE (PALMAE) - Palm family
ORIGIN: Tropical America, especially Mexico and Central America, 100 spp.
HABITAT: Cultivated landscapes, houseplants
CHARACTERISTICS: Usually slender and cane-like (in which case green and ringed); sometimes obsolete
LEAVES: Alternate, feather-like or entire, 1-6' long
FLOWERS: Inconspicuous on short branched-stems from the leaf axils, separate male and female plants; female flower stems often turn orange or red
FLOWERING SEASON: Variable
FRUITS: Round, red or black, 1-seeded
ALLERGENIC PRINCIPLES: Calcium oxalate
ALLERGENIC PROPERTIES: Dermatological
COMMENTS: The juice of the fruit of many Chamaedorea species will cause burning or itching on the skin. C. elegans Mart. (Neanthe bella, parlor palm), C. seifrizii Burret and C. erumpens H. E. Moore (both called Bamboo or reed palm) are common houseplants and all with irritant fruit.