Canopy palm. Stem solitary, erect, to 25 m tall and 40 cm in diameter, often swollen in the central part. Base supported by a 1-2 m tall, dense cone of black stilroots, these with numerous short, whitish root spines. Leaves 3-6, to 5 m long, strongly bushy; pinnae numerous, longitudinally split, jagged at the apex, silverish green below. Inflorescence to 2 m long, erect, with numerous long, pendulous branches, creamish yellow in flower. Fruit greenish yellow, globose, ca. 3 cm in diameter.
Occurs at high elevation to 800 - 2000 m from Panama to Bolivia along the Andes. Tolerates considerable frost.
Native to, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Panama, Peru, Venezuela
Patchily distributed through the Andes in montane rain forest on steep slopes, at 1000-2000 m elevation.