Description: The inflorescence of C. palmata is protogynous, with the female flowers being ripe when the spathes open, which is usually at night. Beetles are attracted by the fragrant odour of the staminodes. They stay in the spadix during the day. During the following night, when the female flowers are no longer functional, the anthers of the male flowers open, the beetles eat pollen and become covered with it, leave the inflorescence and fly to an inflorescence in the female flowering stage, where they carry out pollination.4
Uses: Widely used as roof thatch in Ecuador.
Also woven into artisan fibers for use in making hats, however the 'Panama Hat'1 for which this plant is known is actually made in Ecuador, whilst the hat made from this fiber in Panama is distinctly different from a 'Panama Hat'. Confused yet?