Balslev 62531 – Ecuador

Caespitose. Stem 2 m tall, 4 cm in diam, armed with heavy black spines up to 7 cm long, covering the internodes. Leaves 4 in the crown, distichously arranged, erect; sheath of lowermost leaf 50 cm long, closed for 10 cm, below densely covered with heavy black spines to 7 cm long, spines dorsiventrally flattened, above smooth, cream colored at the base, glossy brown at the top; petiole 6 cm long, rounded below, flat above; rachis 115 cm long, rounded below, ridged above, with many black heavy spines below, especially on basal half, above with few fine brownish spines, especially towards the base; pinnae 66 per side, erect, arranged in groups of 4 – 7, diverging somewhat in different directions, linear, below with few up to 2 cm long spines along the midribs, above with many minute spines on midrib, the margins with many fine spines, basal pinnae 19 x 1 cm, middle pinnae 35 x 2.5 cm; apical pinnae 14 x 1 cm. Infructescence in axil of a wilted leaf just below the fresh leaves, prophyll 28 x 3.5 cm, linear, brown, wilted, bicarinate, flat adaxially, rounded abaxially, rounded at top; peduncular bract persistent, brown wilted hanging dawn, inserted 5 cm from the base, 100 cm long, with few black spines to 3 cm long, apically acute; peduncle 88 cm long, light green, oval in cross section, with black spines to 3 cm long, especially at the top; rachis 20 cm long, dark green; rachillae 32, basal rachillae longest, to 8 cm long with 8 scars from female flowers, the rachillae progressively shorter towards the apex, the apical ones ca. 1 cm long with scar from 1 flower only; fruits 6 only developed on the whole inflorescence, each on different rachillae, globular rostrate at apex, first light green, smooth becoming brown with verrucose surface, 2 – 3 cm in diam, mesocarp 2 – 3 mm thick, almost dry, cracking at maturity and dropping the seed without dehiscing immediately. Seed dark brown, globular with reticulate pattern. Inflorescence bud in the axil of the 3rd leaf from the base, erect; prophyll wedge shaped, 40 cm long, 4 cm wide at the base, 1 cm wide at the top, bicarinate, adaxially channeled, abaxially rounded, cream colored at the base, brown with brown dorsiventrally flattened spines on upper half; peduncular bract inserted 2 cm from the base of the peduncle, 108 cm long, round in cross section, 3 cm in diam. 25 cm from the top, tapering gradually to the base, tapering into a 3 cm long solid pointed apex at the top, cream colored at the base, brown where the prophyll reaches to, then changing to green with a fine brown indument, central part of peduncular bract with few dark brown, dorsiventrally flattened to 3 cm long spines; peduncle 70 cm long, 1 cm wide, dorsiventrally flattened, with brown spines, especially in its upper half.