Hist. nat. palm. 2: 87 (1824)
Subcanopy reaching liana. Stems clustered, to 10 m long, ca. 2 cm i diameter, usually covered with persistent sheaths. Leaves 1.5-2 m long, the axis with numerous black, slender spines, distally often unarmed but with a number of pinnae modified into climbing hooks; pinnae to 25 on each side, more or less evenly spaced, narrowly elliptic, to 20 cm long and 2-5 cm wide. Inflorescence 30-40 cm long, with 20-50 branches. Fruits red, elongate, 1.5-2 cm long
Widespread in tropical America, from Mexico to Bolivia, below 1000 m elevation, often in coastal areas.
Easily recognised by its straight leaf rachis spines and unarmed cirrhus. Otherwise a highly variable species in need of thorough revision.
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