Stems tall and aerial, to 30 m tall and 30-50 cm diameter. Leaves 15-25; petiole long; leaflets regularly arranged and spreading in the same plane. Inflorescences borne among the leaves on a long peduncle; male flowers with flattened petals and 10-11 straight stamens; fruits 1-3-seeded, oblong, to 6 cm long and 3.5 cm diameter, orange-brown; endocarp fibres few or absent.
Attalea colenda is a palm endemic to the coasts of Colombia and Ecuador. It produces high yields of fruits with an oil-rich endosperm and its use in pastures or in agroforestry systems with other crops is very promising. This is chemically similar to coconut and Oil palm oil (Lauric oil). Production of the palm is not restricted in rainforest habits. One hectare of A. colenda may produce between 0.35 and 3.2 tons of oil per year, an amount comparable to the production of the African oil palm. Attalea colenda is considered superior to the African oil palm because it will also produce well under dry conditions, and is expected to be the most important palm for palm oil production. Seeds can be eaten. A useful and very beautiful ornamental palm.
Heimisch in, Colombia, Ecuador
Lowland rain forest or deciduous forest, but now mostly persisting in disturbed or cleared areas, below 900 m elevation.