Is a species of palm native to tropical regions of the Americas, from southern Mexico and the Caribbean south to Paraguay and northern Argentina.
It grows to 15-20 m tall, with a trunk up to 50 cm diameter, characterized by numerous slender, black, viciously sharp 10 cm long spines jutting out from the trunk. The leaves are pinnate, 3-4 m long, with numerous slender, 50-100 cm long leaflets. Petioles of the leaves are also covered with spines. The flowers are small, produced on a large branched inflorescence 1.5 m long. The fruit
is a yellowish-green drupe 2.5-5 cm in diameter, containing a single, dark brown, nut-like seed 2.5-5 cm diameter, which is very tough to break. The inside is a dry white filling that has a vaguely sweet taste when eaten.