Latin name: Euterpe precatoria
Vernacular name: Huassaí, chonta
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.
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.