Stem 8-12 m tall, 20-26 cm diameter, silver to light grey with thin layer of wax. Leaves 13-21, in a hemispheric crown; sheath 130-168 cm long, 5-7 cm wide at apex, with scarcely fibrous margins, covered with white tomentum; petiole 25-60 cm long, 3.5-8.0 cm wide, flat to convex, green and with scarce indumentum above, convex and densely covered with white to light brown tomentum below; rachis 240-362 cm long, adaxially flattened in ca. two thirds of its length, abaxially covered with thick, white tomentum; pinnae 96-140 on each side, irregularly arranged in groups of 2-6, inserted in several planes, usually the proximal pinnae ascendant, the distal descendent, pinnae stiff up to the middle of their length, then pendulous, apex slightly asymmetric, midrib prominent, adaxial surface glabrous, glossy, dark olive green, abaxial surface covered with thin, white to yellowish indumentum, sometimes revealing the pinnae surface in between files; Fruits globose, 2.0-2.3 cm long, 2.0-2.2 cm wide, green turning red when ripe, mature exocarp densely covered with irregular and acute bulges; Seeds ca. 1.5 cm diam. C. peruvianum is very distinctive in its irregularly arranged pinnae, combined with staminate flowers bearing 12-15 stamens, and the exocarp densely covered with acute bulges.
Eastern slopes of the northern Peruvian Andes, in humid premontane to montane forest at 1500-2300 m, in areas currently heavily deforested to establish agricultural activities, where it remains as isolated individuals on forest fragments or in the middle of the farms.