Dypsis betsimisarakae

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Dypsis (DIP-sis)
Madagascar. Photo by Dr. Mijoro Rakotoarinivo, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
Scientific Classification
Genus: Dypsis (DIP-sis)
None set.
Native Continent
Habit: Clustering
Leaf type: Pinnate
Survivability index
Common names

Habitat and Distribution

Dypsis betsimisarakae is endemic to the East of Madagascar, between Soanierana Ivongo
Madagascar. Photo by Dr. Mijoro Rakotoarinivo, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
and Anosibe an'Ala. Lowland and middle altitude forest, steep slopes under more or less open canopy; alt. 300-750 m.


Clustering palm with 2-5 stems or rarely solitary.Stems 2 -6 m tall, 1.5- 3 cm in diam., leaning, internodes 1.6-7 cm long, pale green to grey. Leaves 6- 9 in the crown, porrect; sheath 19- 30 cm long,1.8- 3.2 cm wide, closed, forming a well defined, often bulbous crownshaft, pale green or grey, covered with red scales, auricles triangular 2.6- 5.5x 0.3- 1.2 cm; petiole absent or up to 21 (47) cm long, proximally 4-7 x 3- 5 mm across, distally 5-7x 2.3-3 mm across, densely scaly, adaxially flat or shallowly channelled; rachis 50- 107 cm long, in mid-leaf 2- 4 mm wide, abaxially with scattered scales, adaxially keeled; leaflets 16 -26 on each side of the rachis, grouped or irregular, linear, mostly arranged in the same plane, in groups of 3-6, groups at intervals of 6- 13 cm, leaflets within the group at intervals of 0.4 . 1.5 cm, rarely swollen at the base, proximal leaflets 12- 24x 0.2- 0.6 cm, median leaflets 21- 30 x 1.7- 2.8 cm, distal leaflets 10.5- 12.5 ? x 1.2-2 cm, glabrous, apices to 12 cm long, main veins 1- 5. Inflorescence infrafoliar, branched to 2 (. 3) orders; peduncle 10- 18 cm long, 0.4-1 cm wide, scaly; prophyll 6.5-16 cm long, 1.3-1.8 cm wide, keeled, borne at 1.2- 4 cm above the base of peduncle, split in the distal 2.6- 5 cm, scaly; peduncular bract inserted at 4-10.5 cm from the base of peduncle, 21-32 cm long, split in the distal 14- 25 cm, minutely scaly, beak 1- 1.5 cm long; rachis 15- 20 cm long, scaly or rarely glabrous, with 6-8 branched and 7-9 unbranched first order branches; rachillae 11-29 cm long, about 1.5 mm in diam., glabrous, pendulous, triads distant. Staminate flowers with imbricate sepals, 1.8- 2.2x 1.8- 2.5 mm, irregular clefts in the margins; petals obovate, valvate, not striate, fleshy, 1.6-1.9x 1.4-1.6 mm; stamens 6, biseriate, antesepalous lower than antepetalous, filaments 0.4-0.7x 0.2-0.3 mm, anthers 0.5- 0.7 mm long, dorsifixed, locules divergent, versatile; pistillode minute, about 1.5 mm high. Pistillate flowers with sepals 1.3-1.5x 1.8-2 mm, keeled ,± irregular, petals 2.2-2.4 x 1.7-1.8 mm, obovate, fleshy; gynoecium about 2.2 ?x 1.6 mm. Fruits ellipsoid, red, 0.7-1.1x 0.4-0.5 cm, mesocarp fibrous. Seed ellipsoid, 7-8x 3-4 mm, endosperm deeply ruminate. (M. Rakotoarinivo and J. Dransfield. 2010)/Palmweb. Editing by edric.

This species would key to Dypsis nodifera, because of its size, the ruminate endosperm and irregularly arranged leaflets. However, the habit is almost always clustering rather than solitary and the leaflets are linear rather than usually lanceolate, and usually lack the strong swelling at the leaflet bases. Furthermore, the leaflets are not twisted at their bases to be displayed in several planes, and the palm thus has an altogether different appearance. The species epithet is based on the name of the ethnic group of people who live in the general area of the palm?s distribution. (M. Rakotoarinivo and J. Dransfield. 2010)/Palmweb.


Dypsis betsimisarakae

Comments and Curiosities

Conservation: Vulnerable [VU (B1a+b(i,ii, iii, v); C2a)]. Large distribution range (EOO: 9880 km2) but known only from five locations where almost all of the habitat is subject to human pressure. The species is losing its habitat. (M. Rakotoarinivo and J. Dransfield. 2010)/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).

Rakotoarinivo, M. & Dransfield, J. 2010. New species of Dypsis and Ravenea (Arecaceae) from Madagascar.
Many Special Thanks to Ed Vaile for his long hours of tireless editing and numerous contributions.

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