Dypsis beentjei

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

Habitat and Distribution

Dypsis beentjei is endemic to the Madagascar East Coast. Rain forest, waterlogged alluvial
Antanambe, Madagascar, photo by Dr. Henk Beentje, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew/Palmweb.
flat beside river, ultramafic bedrock; alt. about 250 m.


Clustering acaulescent palm with stems subterranean and procumbent, forming tufts in the forest undergrowth. STEM about 4 x 1.4 cm, dull brown, bearing robust roots about 2 mm in diam. Leaves about 9 in the crown, ± erect; sheath 7-9 cm long, 2.5-3 cm wide at the base when opened out, pale creamy brown, tinged reddish when fresh, drying reddish brown, with a conspicuous central pale yellow line, the sheath striate on drying, densely covered with caducous dark brown scales; petiole to 55 cm long or more, about 4 mm wide, ± triangular in cross section, pale creamy brown, covered in caducous dark brown scales; lamina narrow-triangular, entire-bifid, to 60 cm long, about 10 cm wide across the two tips, apically cleft to 19 cm, the lobes to 3.5 cm wide at the base, tapering to the shallowly lobed tip, 0.5 cm wide, the lamina base long decurrent on the petiole, lamina leathery in texture, adaxially dark shining green when fresh, with scattered minute punctiform dark brown scales, the mid-line pale creamcoloured, abaxially matt, bearing rather dense apparently caducous dark brown scales of varying size with laciniate margins, particularly along the ribs. INFLORESCENCE interfoliar, erect at first, becoming curved, branching to two orders, ± rectangular in outline; peduncle to 25 cm long, 3 mm in diam., rounded in cross-section, densely covered in dark brown laciniate-margined scales; prophyll to 8 x 0.5 cm, membranous, soon tattering, bearing scattered dark brown scales; peduncular bract long exceeding the prophyll, to 18 x 0.5 cm, membranous, soon tattering, scaly as the prophyll; rachis to 9 cm long, scaly as the peduncle; lowermost 3-4 branches branched with one branch of the second order; rachillae 15-20, 3-5 cm long, c. 6 mm diam., somewhat zigzag, the triads 2-6 mm distant, each sub-tended by a lacinate rachilla bract to 1.5 x 0.5 mm, the rachilla surface partially obscured by dark brown laciniate scales.


Cold Hardiness Zone: 10a

Comments and Curiosities

This beautiful species is immediately recognizable by its stemless habit and dark green bifid leaves, each with a central pale yellow line. So far it is known only from an area of forest developed on supposed ultramafic rock in the Biosphere Reserve south of Mananara Avaratra. Here it grows in a valley bottom, in damp hollows and along small streams. It would make a handsome ornamental. (J. Dransfield and H. Beentje. 1995)/Palmweb.

Conservation: Endangered. Although known from a single population, this does occur within the Biosphere Reserve. However, we have seen no more than about thirty plants. (J. Dransfield and H. Beentje. 1995)/Palmweb. Editing by edric.

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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