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(pacaya), a genus of dioecious plants of the family Palmae having an underground rhizome and numerous slender stems or a single stem. A few species are lianas. The leaves are mostly entire, although some that are furcate at the apex or pinnate are encountered. The small, fragrant flowers are yellow or red and are gathered in spicate or panicled inflorescences. The fruit, a berry, is the size of a pea. There are about 100 species, distributed in Central and South America. The unopened staminate inflorescences of the species C. tepejilote are used in Central America as a vegetable in salads and other foods. Many species, including C. concolor, C. elatior, and C. elegans, are grown in greenhouses and as houseplants.