hatpalm2Scientific Name: Carludovica palmata

Botanic Family: Cyclanthaceae

Common Names: Estococa, Hat Palm, Elotito

The Estococa is a wonderful native plant which grows in our forests including the areas of Quepos and the Naranjo River Biological Corridor. It is common to find it growing along the roadways, rivers and streams. We call it wonderful because it has a wide variety of uses for man, among which we can highlight the following:

  • Ornamental Use– because of its appearance similar to a beautiful palm, it may be used as an ornamental in gardens
  • Culinary Uses- the tender leaf tips are similar to Heart of Palm and may be sautéed in oil with onion and tomato. They may also be eaten raw. The inflorescences called candles may also be prepared and eaten by cooking in oil with onion and eggs.
  • Construction/Artisan Use– The leaves may be used as coverings for ranchos, to make brooms or to weave as baskets. The principal use is for weaving hats from the fibers which are obtained from the tender leaves which have not yet opened.