Author: Jan Scholten
Region: northern South America, Colombia, Venezuela, Brazil.
Ebnglish: Jará palm; Pissava palm.
Use: sustenance and construction material; burned to create a salt; fruit for creating a thick, alcoholic beverage; tough, long leaf base fibers, known as pissava, are commercially viable as a source for rope, brooms.
Botany: palm, 6 m tall; monoecious; trunks are solitary, covered in old, extremely fibrous leaf bases; leaves pinnate, up to 5 m long; petioles long, hairy, disintegrate into black, fibrous masses against the trunk; leaflets are once-folded, linear, regularly arranged, acuminate or briefly bifid; inflorescence short, brown, hairy, much branched, emerging within the leaf crown; flowers female proximal, male distal, some hermaphroditic, rarely dioecious; fruits matures to red, ellipsoidal, laterally flattened or disciform, with 1 seed; habitat undergrowth, low lying, occupy periodically flooded, tropical rain forest, on stony islands, alongside the banks of blackwater rivers, conspicuous groves, sandy flats.