Called the "Tree of Life" by the eighteenth century Amazon explorer-scientist Alexander von Humboldt, the moriche palm (Mauritia flexuosa) is one of the commonest and most easily recognized Amazonian palms.
The leaves of the moriche palm are among the biggest in the plant kingdom and are used for roofing and from the leaf petiole comes a high quality fiber.
The fruits of the moriche palm look like miniature pineapples. Locally the fruits are called "aguaje". They are edible and used to flavor desserts and fruit juices, or eaten fresh.
Moriche palm fruits are delicious fresh, but are also popular for dessert dishes such as ice-cream. The trees yield huge numbers which are laid out to dry before being sent to market.