Chamaedorea fragrans

Source: Own work

Chamaedorea fragrans

Chamaedorea fragrans or Sangapilla Palm is a small palm tree from the rain forest in the Andes.

It blooms profusely with strongly scented flowers.

This palm is suitable for a shady place, in pot or in the garden in the tropics or sub-tropics. It can be placed outdoors in the summer but is not resistant to wind.

However, it is very difficult to find.


Chamaedorea fragrans is a small palm tree which grows up to 2.5-3 m. It forms dense clusters and looks somewhat like bamboo.

The trunk is thin, 0.5-1.5 cm in diameter, green, ringed, with internodes 5-15 cm long.

Each stem bears 4-7 leaves. The leaves are spread out and split. The petiole is 2-5 cm long, the rachis up to 20 cm long, the leaf blade 40-50 cm long and 15-20 cm wide, narrowed at the top, apically cut up to 3/4 of its length. The V-shaped lobes are 35-45 cm long and 6-8 cm wide.

The inflorescences are infrafoliar, upright when flowering, pendant when fruiting. The flowers are bright orange and spread a pleasant sweet soap smell.

The fruit is 12 mm long, spherical, ellipsoid, black, shiny. The seeds are black.


Common names:

Sangapilla palm, siasia, chutasllium


Chamaedorea gratissima, Chamaedorea pavoniana, Chamaedorea ruizii, Chamaedorea verschaffeltii, Nunnezharia fragrans, Nunnezharia verschaffeltii, Nunnezia fragrans


Chamaedorea: from the Greek chamai (on the ground) and dorea (gift), referring to the low hanging and easily accessible fruit
Fragrans: from the Latin frāgrāns (scented)




Rainforest in the Andes in Peru

Chamaedorea fragrans

Source: Own work

Chamaedorea fragrans


USDA zone 10-11



Well-drained soil, any potting soil


Shade, partial shade


Keep the root ball continuously moist, all year round.


Fertilize regularly during the growing period (every two weeks)


Overwinter at minimum 13 °C


By division in the spring when repotting or from seed.

Sowing instructions:

  • sow in a moist sowing substrate
  • 28-30 °C
  • germination time: several weeks to several months, depending on the freshness of the seeds