Trunk solitary, 1 m tall, cane-like, with aerial roots. Leaves to 50 cm long, undivided or variously feather-shaped, dark bluish-green with a metallic sheen. Female flowers on undivided spikes. Male flowers on branched panicles. Fruit about 1 cm wide, black, on an orange branch.
An extremely ornamental popular small palm valued for its unusual leaves. Useful indoors or in a protected, shady position. Best planted in groups.
C. ernesti-augustii H.Wendl. from Central America has a solitary trunk to 2 m tall with pale rings. Leaves to 50 cm long, undivided, bright green, prominent raised veins, apex deeply notched. Panicles extending above the leaves. Fruit about 0.8 cm long, black, on an orange rhachis.A collectors palm which has a neat habit and decorative foliage. Needs shade.
C. geonomiformis H.Wendl., also from Central America, is similar but the leaves are smooth and shiny and the nerves much less prominent.
Source: (2005). Arecaceae. In: . Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 5. Flowering plants. Monocotyledons. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.