A solitary, tall, water-loving, moderately slow growing, monoecious, forest emergent, crownshaft palm. Not known in cultivation, locally common in the wild. It has a smooth, light-grey trunk, 10 m. (33 ft.) tall, 10 cm. (4 inch) diameter with no obvious leaf scars, and huge segmented, pinnate (feather) leaves, 4 m. (13 ft.) long, 0.9 m. (3 ft.) wide, dark green above and beneath.
This palm does not occur over 800 m. elevation (usually less), and is therefore not as hardy to cold. This plant is suitable, while young as a houseplant or conservatory plant.
Wettinia aequalis naturally occurs in wet and humid tropical rainforest. In this type of natural environment temperature fluctuations are slight, and this palm prefers a constantly hot and humid climate with little temperature difference between day & night, and Summer & Winter. This palm will not tolerate cool for very long.
Subcanopy palm. Stem solitary, 4-10 m tall and 7-13 cm in diameter, distally with persisting, dead sheaths. Leaves 3-5 m long; pinnae 20-35 on each side, entire, spreading horizontally in one plane, glabrous on both sides, the central ones 70-110 cm long and 7-16 cm wide. Inflorescences 3-11 per node; peduncle 15-35 cm long; rachis 2-20 cm long; branches 2-10; male inflorescence branches 15-25 cm long; male inflorescence branches to 115 cm long in fruit, strongly pendulous. Male flowers 7-8 mm long, with 5-9 stamens. Female flowers dispersed along the branches, 10-11 mm long. Fruit yellow at maturity, 2-3 cm long and 1.5-2 cm in diameter.
Panama, W Colombia, and W Ecuador, at elevations below 800 m. In Ecuador it often replaces Wettinia quinaria as a dominant subcanopy species in areas with a slightly seasonal climate.
Native to, Colombia, Ecuador, Panama
Lowland or premontane rain forests, between sea-level and 500 m elevation.