Stems 3-13 m tall and 10-20 cm diameter, sometimes bending at the top, green, yellowish green to brownish, clean or covered with a thin layer of wax. Leaves 6-18, in a very variable but always untidy, hemispheric crown; sheath (32-)50-90(-130) cm long, 2.5 cm wide; petiole (15-)24-75 cm long, 2-5 cm wide at apex, adaxially glabrescent with remnant of scales, abaxially with brown-grayish indumentum, sometimes almost glabrescent; rachis (38-)77-140(-210) cm long, adaxially flattened in basal half of its length that end in a small almost unconspicuous hastula-like projection, glabrescent, abaxial surface convex, covered with scales degraded into flexuous threads, and persistent 0.2-0.6 mm elliptical bases, arranged in adjacent, 0.2-0.3 mm wide rows; pinnae 46-80(-129) on each side of rachis, arranged in groups of 2-10 pinnae, separated by 2.0-6.5(-12.0) cm, and inserted in divergent planes, specially towards the base and the middle of the leaf, adaxial surface glabrescent, abaxial surface and midrib covered with elliptical to linear, very thin and narrow, translucent, cream scales, not connate along margins. Fruits globose, orange-red when ripe, 1.6-2.0 cm diam., exocarp reticulate sulcate, furrowed; Seeds 1.1-1.6 cm diam.
Ceroxylon vogelianum is, together with C. parvifrons, the most frequent and widely distributed species of Ceroxylon. It is unmistakable by its small size, with slender, usually greenish or brownish stem, leaves ascending, with pinnae arranged in groups and inserted in very divergent planes, staminate flowers with 6 stamens on slender filaments, and fruits with the very characteristic reticulate sulcate grooved exocarp. The specimens from Bolivia that had been determined as C. vogelianum actually correspond to C. pityrophyllum, therefore C. vogelianum is not found in Bolivia, although several texts report it.
Native to, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela
Ceroxylon vogelianum is widely distributed through the Andes from Venezuela to Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru, in humid montane forest, at (1900-)2200-2900 m. Although it is one of the most common palms of the high tropical Andes, it never forms extense stands, and is commonly sparse on mountain ridges.