Family: Arecaceae

Latin name: Oenocarpus bataua

Vernacular name: Ungurahui

The thin, oily mesocarp has chocolate-like taste, and is very popular. It is usually soaked before eating to soften the pulp. Ungurahui is used in beverages (such as “chapo”), popsicles, and ice creams. The wood of the stem is split and used for floors, and for other construction needs. The hard endosperm is crushed and eaten to cure snake bites. This palm species is common in upland environments, and can be quite dense in areas of the Reserva Comunal Tamshiyacu-Tahuayo. People commonly hunt in these areas, especially for peccaries.

The tall single-stemmed palm is slow growing, and difficult to cultivate. People who want a similar tasting palm fruit usually cultivate the faster growing “sinamillo” palm instead of ungurahui.

Ungurahui palm fruits.

Ungurahui palm fruits.