Trunk at first decumbent or creeping, at length rising under favorable condi- tions and age; becoming 40 cm. or more thick and perhaps 8 m. tall, bearing at one time about 20 living leaves; bases of the petioles persistent on the short trunk and accumulating dirt and refuse among which the great fruits may rest: leaves 2 m. and more long, mostly rising from near the ground; petiole trough-like, deeply concave on front, keeled on back, not hard-woody; pinnae 100 and more, 5-6 cm. apart on the ridged rachis or more remote on the lower part of the blade, central ones about 1 m. long and 3-5 cm. broad, with pronounced midrib and strong side-ribs, conspicuously irregularly cross-veined particularly underneath, tending to split lengthwise: staminate spadix often 1 m. or more long, sometimes much less: fruiting clusters usually 2-5 in number, each cluster comprising 3-8 depressed fruits or heads on a short stout peduncle and armored like an alligator's hide, the clusters at maturity often lying on the ground or in the mold caught in the leaf-bases; nutlets 9 or fewer in each fruit, about 7 cm. high, 6 cm. broad, 3-4 cm. thick at the rounded back, inner side (against its neighbor) flat, becoming coal-black, involved in coarse fibers, free inside the carpellary tubercled shell; seed free inside the hard but rather thin integument, semi-lunate, about 5 cm. high and 4 cm. broad, ridged and ornamented with rapheal subsidiaries, albumen ivory-like and white.