Solitary, unarmed palm. Stem 1-6 m tall, 9-12 cm diam., light brown, smooth, with inconspicuous leaf scars. Leaves 20-35, induplicately palmate; sheath + petiole ca. 319 cm long, sheath basally cleft for ca. 43 cm, brown-woolly internally; petiole biconvex, rhomboid in transverse section, the margins sharp toward base, green, covered below with a deciduous scaly and light brown tomentum, 2 cm wide at the middle; adaxial hastula tubular, truncate, ca. 1 cm long; abaxial hastula forming a low rim; blade flat, rigid, sometimes inequilateral at base, 1.4-1.6 m diam., divided almost to the base into two large halves, these divided to ca. 1/10 their length into single fold segments, each with 36-42 single-fold segments, these free at the apex for 5-9 cm; basal segments 34-50 cm long, 1.4-1.7 cm wide, bifid at the apex for ca. 5 mm; distal segments 104 cm long, 4.2 cm wide, the free portion with a shoulder on each side just above the adaxial split, bifid at the apex for ca. 5 mm, the two tips rounded and slightly unequal, glossy above, with numerous cross-veins of two sizes, silvery-whitish below. Inflorescences and infructescences interfoliar, basally erect, the distal half arching laterally, with branches of first order or sometimes the basal branches with a few rachillae; peduncle at least 30 cm long, 1.5 cm wide at apex, subcylindrical; prophyll deeply buried among the leaves, at least 31 cm long, 3.5 cm wide, slightly two-keeled, acute and abaxially split at the fibrous apex, yellowish when fresh, covered, especially toward base, with a light brown woolly tomentum; peduncular bracts at least five, ca. 26-27 cm long, 6 cm wide, chartaceous, persistent, acute at apex, covered with light brown, woolly, more or less persistent tomentum; rachis 46-62 cm long, subcylindrical; rachillae 32-40, each raquilla subtended by a large, persistent, chartaceous, cream-coloured bract with indumentum similar to that of the peduncular bracts, progressively smaller toward the apex, fraying into fibres in fruit; basal bracts 20-22 cm long, ca. 7 cm wide, middle bracts 13-16 cm long, 5-6 cm wide, apical bracts 4-6 cm long, 0.5-1.5 cm wide; rachillae of the proximal one half with both staminate and pistillate flowers, those of the distal half bearing only staminate flowers; basal rachillae 18-20 cm long, the proximal 1/3 thick, 5-7 mm wide, adaxially flattened and without flowers, abaxially with pistillate flowers separated from each other 1-2 mm, mostly with no anthers and only a few of them with 1-2 anthers, the distal 2/3 of proximal rachillae almost cylindrical, ca. 3 mm diam., with staminate flowers spirally arranged all around the rachilla, separated from each other 1-3 mm; middle rachillae 12-14 cm long, the proximal 2 cm similar to the corresponding area of the basal rachillae, otherwise as described for the staminate portion; apical rachillae 3-4 cm long, bearing only staminate flowers and appearing like the staminate portion of basal rachillae. Flowers whitish when fresh, borne on a short pedicel and subtended by a small, narrow triangular bract. Staminate flowers 4-5 mm long, 3-3.5 mm wide, oblong; sepals three, 1.3-2 mm long, connate into a 0.8-1 mm long cupule with three ovate long-acuminate lobes ca. 1 mm wide, fused with the corolla at a single place on the margin; corolla tubular, oblong, 2.5-3.2 mm long, the petals connate for ca. ¾ their length, with three rounded to triangular lobes ca. 1 mm wide, sometimes two of the petals completely free to base; stamens 20-23, exserted ca. 1 mm beyond the corolla; filaments connate by their fleshy bases into several irregular groups of 1-6, these in turn connate farther below with each other and basally adnate with the corolla, filiform at the apex, the free portion ca. 1 mm long, tapering to a filamentous apex ca. 0.5 mm long; anthers ca. 1 mm long, 0.2 mm wide, oblong, basally bifid, shortly bifid to rounded apically; pistillode absent. Pistillate flowers 7-11 mm long, ca. 2.5 mm wide, mostly similar to the staminate ones; sepals three, 1.3-2 mm long, connate in a 0.8-1 mm cupule with three ovate long acuminate lobes, fused with the corolla at a single place on the margin; corolla tubular, oblong, 2.5-3.5 mm long, the petals connate for ca. ¾ their length, with three rounded to triangular lobes, sometimes two of the petals completely free to base; staminodes 14-19, only slightly exserted from the corolla, filaments basally connate into a fleshy tube adnate to the corolla base, the free portion fleshy and subulate, ca. 1.5 mm long, sometimes with an apical 0.5 mm filamentous apex; anthers oblong, ca. 1 mm long, similar to those of the staminate flowers; gynoecium unicarpellate, 4-5 mm long, ovoid at the base, tapering to a slender, flattened, curved style and a papillose stigma ca. 2 mm long; ovule hemianatropous, laterally attached, bearing a large oblique aril. Fruits closely packed along the basal portion of the proximal, thickened rachilla stumps, these up to 7 cm long, 7-8 mm thick, individual fruits obovoid to turbinate or subglobose, green when immature, yellowish green when nearly mature, finally turning black, 3.6-4.4 cm long., 3-3.6 cm diam., with inconspicuous, eccentrically apical stigmatic residue; epicarp minutely tuberculate with sparse perforations, smooth with the naked eye; seeds oblong-ovoid, 2.4-2.7 cm long, 2.2-2.3 cm wide, with ellipsoid hilum and subbasal ascending raphe branches; endosperm homogeneous; embryo basal. Seedling with lanceolate eophyll, whitish below, ca. 30 cm long, 4-5 cm wide.
Originaria, Colombia, Panama
Known only from a small area at the base of the Serranía del Darién, in the Department of Chocó, northwestern Colombia, between 100 and 250 m elevation 8°34'59.4" N, 77°23'09.9" W. The area lay less than one kilometre away from the Colombia-Panama border, and the species most probably occurs also in that country. The area is covered by premontane moist forest, with an average annual rainfall of ca. 3000 mm.