H.Wendl. ex Spruce
J. Linn. Soc., Bot. 11: 104 (1871)
Understorey palm. Stem solitary or clustered, often with suckers at base, or rooting and sprouting from nodes on decumbent part of stem. Leaf blade 20-120 cm long, simple, or with up to 15 unequal to nearly equal pinnae on each side. Inflorescence unbranched; peduncle 20-100 cm long; spike 10-35 cm long, 4-10 mm in diameter, dark red to purple in fruit. Flower pits loosely to densely arranged, usually in 6 longitudinal files, 2-3 mm across, lower lip often very long, covering the pit. Male flowers with filaments curving back at anthesis. Female flowers with staminodes united into a tube. Fruits green, maturing black, globose to elliptic, 5-8 mm long.
Central America to Ecuador, W of the Andes, below 1000 m elevation. In Ecuador it occurs in the understorey of tropical and premontane wet to pluvial forest, often at high densities.
Four varieties are recognised; all occur in Ecuador
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