Black Palm Trees in the Jungles of Panama Site Index

Core jungle training involves giving soldiers an education in the dangerous plants and wildlife of Panama. The point of the black palm, for instance, will stick into flesh and break off, causing an infection. Bushmaster and Feu-de-lance snakes, giant spiders, cutter ants, and a variety of other insects can be harmful, if not fatal.  Soldiers also learn jungle land navigation, recognition and avoidance of mines and booby traps, and how to build a field expedient antenna.

Read the rest of this account:  Bushmaster Basic - Story and Photos by SFC Larry Lane

Black Palm - Astrocaryum standleyanum.  From a distance, it just looks like a palm tree .. pretty

Part of the scenic, shady jungle canopy


Black Palm seeds, or "nuts", are colorful and edible, but what about those bands of dark and light on the trunk?

Black Palm trees are armed with slender, brittle spines that penetrate flesh and break off under the skin.

They are spread out in a mixed community of dense jungle vegetation.

You usually don't expect one to be there ..

it's raining so loud you can't hear anything but the rain ..

the hilly jungle floor is steep and slimy with mud and run-off water ..

it's nighttime and pitch black ..  you slip or stumble ..

and fall into the spines. site index