panama-hat palm, perennial herb ( Carludovica palmata ) growing wild from Central America south to Bolivia. Despite its frondlike leaves it is not a true palm. The leaves are used to weave Panama hats, an industry centered in Ecuador. The plant is classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Liliopsida, order Cyclanthales, family Cyclanthaceae.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.