Family: Arecaceae
Latin name: Euterpe precatoria

Vernacular name: Huassaí, chonta

Ethnobotany
This palm is harvested for edible palm heart (the apex), and the trunk is used for many construction purposes. A liquid from the roots is used to treat malaria. In this region of the Amazon, use of the fruit is rare. A small export business that makes canned palm heart from huassaí has run for several years in Iquitos. Although this is the favorite type of palm heart eaten in the region, some people, such as the Aguaruna, will consume palm heart from almost any species of palm except huassaí.

Agroforestry
This single-stemmed palm grows well from discarded or planted seeds. Delicate roots can make transplanting seedlings difficult. Haussa’ grows quickly in both upland and seasonally flooded fields. The light, very small canopy makes it compatible for interplanting with almost any crop.

A huassai palm by a managed fish pond.

A huassai palm by a managed fish pond.

The palm trunk is split, scraped and used for outer walls of the house.

The palm trunk is split, scraped and used for outer walls of the house.

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