Field of Science

Friday Fabulous Flower - Palm flowers

It's a gray day in late January, and for other reasons TPP is feeling a bit depressed. However, nothing cheers us up as much as flowers and it is a Friday.  Time for some tropical attitude adjustment!
When walking the forest trails in Costa Rica, every now and again you come across a snowfall, a white, snow covering you path. A palm flowered above you day/night before.  Palm flowers are small and numerous in general, in many palms a large inflorescence of many (hundreds) of flowers comes wrapped in bract. Although technically, subtending the inflorescence, in many palms the bract forms a canopy presumably shielding the flowers from the frequent rains. Palm flowers tend to be white or cream colored and they are usually fragrant with the odor often having musky overtones.  This particular palm, and without his trusty field notebook handy TPP fails to remember exactly which palm this is, fits most of the general palm flower characteristics.  Anyone recognize this palm?
Features of note: While the inside (upper surface) of the bract is smooth, the outside (under surface, up in this view) is extremely spiny and the spines are so sharp the weight of the bract is enough to inflict damage (handle with extreme care).
The primary floral visitors and presumed pollinators are stingless bees (wings folded over their backs); a few flies are also present. Usually after just a day, or a night the, perianths fall to make for the snowfall.
And don't you like the general tropical feel?  The green, the humidity, the foreign country?  Oops, bad thinking crept in a bit there at the end. 
Sorry, citizens of Earth who do not live in the USA. Today our country begins to inflict on everyone else The Donald, our would be dictator.  As for my fellow citizens we have no one to blame but ourselves. 
Now to upload an image and feel better.

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