Monoecious tree, 7-20 (30) m tall; trunk usually more than 20 cm diam, unarmed; leaf scars prominent. Leaves green, 2-6 m long, the rachis and midrib prominently raised, yellowish or light green; petioles including leaf sheath ca 1 m long; leaflets regular, in a single plane, 60-110 cm long, to 5 cm wide, the shorter ones on either end of blade. Spathes ca 1 m long, striate, acuminate; rachillae 30-40, to 40 cm long; staminate flowers to 12 mm long, borne on upper part of interfoliar branching spadices; stamens 6; pistillate flowers globose, ca 3 cm diam, restricted to lower part of spadices; ovary 3-celled. Nuts many, in bunches, obtusely triangular, to 30 cm long, covered by a thick fibrous husk, the interior shell very hard; endosperm solidified into an edible, white substance; interior containing a liquid, whitish endosperm; seed 1. Croat 7484. Pantropical in cultivation. In Panama, most abundant in coastal areas, especially along the Caribbean coast; few collections exist, but probably in cultivation in all provinces.