American Oil Palm
Compared to its African relative, E. guineensis, which today is cultivated in enormous numbers everywhere in the tropics, the American oil palm is outright rare. It is naturally distributed in Central America, from Honduras to Colombia, and in the Amazon region, where its distribution is patchy however and generally connected with human settlements, suggesting that it may have been introduced there. While the African oil palm can be a fairly scruffy looking plant, its American cousin makes a much more elegant appearance, with long, flat, gracefully recurving leaves. Its oil yield is not as high though. It will flourish under the same conditions that E. guineensis does and has a preference for rich, wet soils.