Bactris gasipaes (known as Pixbae in Panama and pronounced Pibá) is a species of palm native to the tropical forests of the South and Central America.
It is a palm which can typically grow to 20 m or taller, with pinnate leaves 3 m long on a 1 m long petiole. The fruit is a drupe with an edible pulp surrounding the single seed, 4-6 cm long and 3-5 cm broad. The rind (epicarp) of this wild palm can be red, yellow, or orange when the fruit is ripe depending on the variety of the palm.
Bactris gasipaes is well known by the native population where it grows, and it has been used for centuries as food. The fruit is frequently stewed in salted water. However, it may be eaten raw, peeled and dressed with salt and honey, used to make compotes and jellies, or also used to make flour and edible oil.
Vía España, Panama City. October 10th, 2009
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