Stem 2.5-6.0 m tall, 9-28 cm diam, white at base and turning green towards apex, covered with a very thin layer of wax. Leaves 11, in a dense, spherical crown, with dead leaves hanging; sheath 78 cm long, adaxially glabrescent, abaxially covered with a deciduous layer of scales; petiole 10 cm long, covered with indumentum like that of the sheath; rachis 168 cm long, adaxially flattened in half of its length, glabrescent, abaxial surface covered with deciduous, membranous scales; pinnae 102-109 on each side, arranged in groups of 2-6, abaxial surface and midrib covered with elliptical, yellowish, 1 mm scales, with 0.3-0.5 mm bases, and arranged in adjacent 0.25 mm wide rows. Fruits globose, orange-red when ripe, 1-2 cm diam., exocarp smooth to slightly warted; Seeds 1.0-1.2 cm diam.
This is the smallest species in the genus, and has the narrowest leaflets. It ressembles C. pityrophyllum, and some specimens that had been determined as C. parvum are now placed under C. pityrophyllum. However, C. parvum has slender filaments (of the staminodes), and staminodes that vary in number from 7-11, whereas C. pityrophyllum has broad-based filaments of the staminodes, and stamens and staminodes are always six in number. Apparently, C. parvum is a species that does not form large stands, while C. pityrophyllum does. It grows far from C. pityrophyllum, and only on the Western slopes of the Ecuadorian Andes.
Native to, Ecuador
Southwestern cordillera of the Ecuadorian Andes, at 1530 m elevation, in premontane pastures and scrubs in ravines. It is only known as isolated individuals, not forming large populations, and usually kept standing on pastures.