Palm-like, dioecious, low-growing plant with trunk to 6 inches high or wholly underground; leaves 2-4 feet long, pinnae in 2-13 pairs, linear to lanceolate or oblong-obovate, margins toothed in the middle, often revolute, petioles prickly; male cones cylindrical, to 4 inches long, often clustered, female cones elongate-ovoid, to 5 inches long, the exterior faces of the ends of the scales hexagonal, horizontally elongated.
Florida, West Indies, Mexico
Additional Common Names: Coontie, Comptie, Seminole-Bread
In folk medicine elsewhere, fruit used in therapeutic shampoos. Gum from the stem used for skin ulcers. Roots chewed for cough and believed to improve the singing voice. Dried powder placed inside socks and shoes to prevent athlete's foot by decrease moisture.
• Washed roots contain 38% starch and 6% protein, used to make sofkee, a staple of the traditional Seminole Indian diet and a component in the diet of many indigenous peoples. • Extracted starch from root is marketed as "arrowroot" as ingredients to biscuits baby food, chocolate, spaghetti. Also used in cooking as a thickener.
From Philippine Alternative Medicine
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