Distribution Origin unknown, possibly Malesian. In the Hawaiian Islands, a Polynesian introduction on Laysan, Ni`ihau, Kaua`i, O`ahu, Moloka`i, Lana`i, Maui, Kaho`olawe, Hawai`i.
Habit Trunk up to 30 m tall, usually somewhat curved from an often thickened base.
Leaves Leaves 4–6 m long, sometimes longer, pinnae 60–100 cm long. Flowers Inflorescences up to 1.8 m long; flowers yellow, fragrant, staminate ones 1-1.5 cm long, pistillate ones ca. 2.5 cm in diameter. Fruit Fruit 20 30 cm or more long, ovoid to subglobose, with single seed.
Chromosomes 2n = 32.