Diagnosis: Understory palms with underground or erect trunks to 6 m, unarmed, pinnate leaves (rarely undivided with a forked tip) with S-shaped leaflets of uniform width held in a plane, usually with a yellowish line on the underside of the petiole and rachis, and always dioecious.
Local Distribution: Found in all habitats, but more diverse in cloud forest and Atlantic slope rain forest.
Diversity: 13 species.
Comments: This is the most diverse and commonly encountered genus of palms in our region. They are mostly small understory palms with short stems. The larger species include Chamaedorea costaricensis, colonial with slender elongate stems reaching 5-7 m, and C. tepejilote, a solitary species commonly exceeding 5 m tall.