Dypsis antanambensis

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Dypsis (DIP-sis)
Antanambe, Madagascar, photo by Dr. John Dransfield, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew/Palmweb.
Scientific Classification
Genus: Dypsis (DIP-sis)
None set.
Native Continent
Habit: Clustering
Leaf type: Pinnate
Survivability index
Common names

Habitat and Distribution

Dypsis antanambensis is endemic to Madagascar. Only known from one small area in the
Antanambe, Madagascar, photo by Dr. John Dransfield, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew/Palmweb.
Mananara Avaratra Biosphere Reserve. Rather open rain forest, on ultramafic soils on steep mid slopes and ridge tops; alt. 250-290 m.


Palm apparently basally branched to give clumps of up to 3, otherwise unbranched aerial stems. STEMS up to 4 m high, covered for their whole length with a dense fibrous layer about 12 cm in diam., without layer about 5.5 cm. in diam., internodes 1.5-2.5 cm, bark conspicuously stepped and ringed; wood brown, quite hard. LEAVES about 12 in the crown, porrect, with stiff leaflets; sheath about 48 x 3 cm, pale brown with white bloom and orange-red scales, with many marginal fibres; petiole about 66 cm long, proximally 1.1-2 x 1.4-1.6 cm in diam., distally 1-1.6 x 0.8-1.1 cm, red-brown, margins sharp, abaxially convex with patches of brown scales, adaxially channelled; rachis about 2.5 m, in mid-leaf keeled, 0.8-1.1 x 0.6-0.9 cm; leaflets about 49 on each side of the rachis, regular, stiff, erect, those on opposite sides of the rachis at an angle of about 130° with each other, the proximal 36- 37 x 0.4-0.7 cm, some with long pendulous reins, median 52-53 x 2.8 cm (leaflet interval 4 cm), distal 15-38 x 0.4-1.9 cm; leaflets glabrous, the apices unequally acuminate, bifid for 3-4 cm with one tip 5-7 cm longer, main veins 5-7, midrib prominent adaxially. INFLORESCENCE interfoliar, spreading, branched to 1 order, in bud about 225 cm long; peduncle about 160 cm, distally 1.2 x 0.9 cm diam., with dense small red-brown scales; prophyll about 131 x 2.2-3 cm, cylindrical, 2-keeled, split only at the apex; peduncular bract 102-122 cm (inserted at about 100 cm), deciduous and carried upwards by the lengthening inflorescence, glabrous, ? beaked for about 6 cm; rachis about 41 cm, with about 20 branches and scattered red-brown scales; rachillae 34-60 cm long, 3.5-5 x 2 mm. in diam., somewhat pitted, bare at the base, densely covered in tiny stellate scales, with distant triads, more distally with paired flowers only; rachilla bracteoles about 3 x 0.6 mm. STAMINATE FLOWERS with sepals 1.4-1.6 x 1.4 mm; petals (in bud) 1.7-1.8 mm long; stamens 6, biseriate, the outer (antesepalous) series sessile, the inner series with filaments about 0.6 mm long, anthers about 0.6 x 0.4 mm, dorsifixed, locules parallel. PISTILLATE FLOWERS with sepals 1.4-1.6 x 1.4 mm; petals (in bud) 1.7-1.8 mm long; gynoecium about 0.8 x 0.5 mm; staminodes about 0.2 mm. FRUIT unknown, except for: endocarp very fibrous, 15-25 x 12-18 mm. SEED with deeply ruminate endosperm, the ruminations many and up to 5 mm deep. EOPHYLL pinnate. (J. Dransfield and H. Beentje. 1995)/Palmweb. Editing by edric.

Among the species of the Vonitra-group this species can be distinguished by its short, stiff leaflets, the inflorescence branched to 1 order resembling D. pusilla but is much larger, has a greater number of leaflets and a larger inflorescence. (J. Dransfield and H. Beentje. 1995)/Palmweb.


Cold Hardiness Zone: 10a

Comments and Curiosities

This is a new species in the "Vonitra" group; it thrives on steep slopes and on ridge tops in low-canopy forest on ultramafic rock. It tends to branch near ground level and have several more or less equal rather slender trunks that are clothed in long persistent short piassava fibre. The leaves are distinctive having rather short leaflets that diverge from the rachis at an acute angle and tend to be held rather stiffly. The name is derived from the type locality. As far as we know, this species is not in cultivation. (J. Dransfield and H. Beentje. 1995)/Palmweb.

Conservation: Endangered. Despite its occurrence in a protected area, the number of individuals seems to be less than fifty. (J. Dransfield and H. Beentje. 1995)/Palmweb.

External Links


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. 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.

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