| Dypsis (DIP-sis) |
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Habitat and Distribution
Endemic to Madagascar. Only known from the Marojejy massif. Submontane rain forest; 700-1100 m. May be locally abundant.
Squat solitary palm. TRUNK 3-6 m tall, 20-30 cm. in diam., near the crown about 20 cm. in diam.; stilt roots present near the base (always?); internodes about 2 cm. LEAVES 18-20 in the crown, the upper part of the trunk with marcescent leaves and sheath remnants, litter accumulating; sheath 20 cm long, open, not forming a crownshaft, with dense rusty-brown pubescence, about 40 cm wide; petiole 0-10 cm, densely reddish-pubescent, 3-3.5 x 2 cm diam.; rachis 3-4 m long, in mid-leaf 1.1-2.3 cm wide, reddish-tomentose; pinnae about 60 on each side of the rachis, in groups of 3-6 and fanned within the groups, stiff, the group interval 4-9 cm, bright to dark green, the proximal 29-41 x 0.3-0.4 cm, median 45-70 x 2.5-5 cm (interval 0.5-2 cm), distal 15-35 x 0.7-2.7 cm, the apical pair joined for up to 3 cm and multi-fold (always?), main veins 3-5, with ramenta on the main veins, and with reddish scattered scales on the minor veins, apices unequally acute, the distal ones praemorse, young leaf liver-coloured. INFLORESCENCE bud, cylindrical and fat (0.6 mm. in diam.), anthers 1.8-2 x 0.8-1 mm, versatile; pistillode about 1.3 x 0.6-0.9 mm. PISTILLATE FLOWERS with sepals 1.3-2.5 x 1.7-3.5 mm; petals 2.7-4.6 x 2.5-5 mm; staminodes six, 0.2-0.6 mm; gynoecium (in bud) about 2.5 x 0.8 mm. FRUIT pale yellow-green, ellipsoid to slightly obovoid, 22-25 x 14-18 mm, the apex rounded, pustulate; endocarp with densely anastomosing fibres. SEED slightly obovoid, 18-20 x 13-16 mm, with pointed base and rounded apex; endosperm ruminate, the intrusions dense, 2-5 mm deep. (J. Dransfield and H. Beentje. 1995)/Palmweb.
At first we thought this litter-accumulating palm belonged in a group with the other litter-collectors, such as D. perrieri. But the structure of the inflorescence indicates it is closer to taxa such as D. madagascariensis, D. coursii and D. rivularis. (J. Dransfield and H. Beentje. 1995)/Palmweb.
Cold Hardiness Zone: 10a
Comments and Curiosities
This a most distinctive squat robust understory palm, abundant on the broad ridges in submontane forest on Marojejy. It has a short trunk, and leaves that do not fall off neatly, the crown tending to trap litter when young. In this respect it resembles D. perrieri but the leaves, while being about the same size, have grouped pinnae, and rather plumose, and the inflorescence is quite different, being much more diffusely branched. Roots from neighbouring trees tend to grow into the litter that accumulates in the crown, and as the palm grows, these zigzag tree roots continue to grow from sheath to sheath, eventually being exposed. Ferns are also abundant in the crown of this palm. It somewhat resembles D. coursii but has a much more robust stem, with much larger leaves and longer, narrower pinnae. The species name is derived from the type locality, Marojejy. As far as we know, this species is not in cultivation. (J. Dransfield and H. Beentje. 1995)/Palmweb.
Conservation: Vulnerable. Distribution restricted to a single, albeit protected, area.
This is a tillering palm, it exhibits saxophone style root growth (it has a heel), keep top third of heel above soil elevation!
- Glossary of Palm Terms
- MODERN BOTANICAL LATIN
- "Just To Be Clear"
- THE SAXOPHONE STYLE ROOT GROWTH (HEEL)
Phonetic spelling of Latin names by edric.
Special thanks to Geoff Stein, (Palmbob) for his hundreds of photos.
Special thanks to Palmweb.org, Dr. John Dransfield, Dr. Bill Baker & team, for their volumes of information and photos.
Glossary of Palm Terms; Based on the glossary in Dransfield, J., N.W. Uhl, C.B. Asmussen-Lange, W.J. Baker, M.M. Harley & C.E. Lewis. 2008. Genera Palmarum - Evolution and Classification of the Palms. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. All images copyright of the artists and photographers (see images for credits).
Dransfield, J. & Beentje, H. 1995. The Palms of Madagascar. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and The International Palm Society.
Many Special Thanks to Ed Vaile for his long hours of tireless editing and numerous contributions.