Monoecious shrub, acaulescent or with trunk to 1.5 m tall and 5-6 cm thick; leaf scars 1 cm or less apart. Leaves glabrous, clustered at apex, continuously pinnate but somewhat irregular, to 2 m long; petioles ca 50 cm long or more, vaginate ca 20 cm at base, otherwise terete; rachis becoming sharply ridged above; leaflets in 10-24 pairs, 25-50 cm long, shortest at apex of plant, 2-5 cm wide except terminal pair, the apex long-acuminate and falcate, +/- decurrent on rachis at base, the major ribs 1-3, equal, the others smaller; juvenile leaves entire and much smaller but otherwise like adult leaves. Inflorescences about as long as leaves but drooping below them; peduncles enveloped at base by 2 persistent spathes, the inner spathe much longer; spadix simple, maroon, the fertile part to ca 50 cm long, 12-15 mm thick; flower pits in 10-12 almost vertical series and in almost regularly alternating whorls ca 1 mm apart; rachis minutely rugose and appressed-pubescent; tepals oblong to spatulate, oblique, acute at apex, to 4 mm long, at least the outermost keeled, thickened, concave, and violet-purple at apex; stamens ca 6 cm long, the tube to 4.3 mm long, the free parts spreading. Fruits ovoid-ellipsoid, 9-11 mm long, about half as broad as long, purplish-black at maturity; pericarp hard; seed 1. Croat 6607, 9790. Occasional, preferring the deep shade of areas adjacent to creeks or creek beds. Seasonal behavior uncertain. Flowering is known only in the late dry season and early rainy season. Fruits are seen most of the year, but most mature in the rainy season. Nicaragua to Colombia. In Panama, known from tropical moist forest in the Canal Zone, Bocas del Toro, Colon, Panama, and Darien, from premontane wet forest in Colón and Coclé (El Valle), and from tropical wet forest in Panama and Darien.