A genus of palms in which the stem is solitary. They are the tallest of all palms, sometimes reaching 60 m, and some have waxy stems that shine white. The leaves are pinnate with an erect sheath; the inflores-cences form among the leaves. The wax is of commercial value. They provide the official emblem of Colombia. There are 15 species, found in the Andes north from Lake Titicaca, to altitudes of more than 4000 m.
Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry.