Dypsis bonsai

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Dypsis (DIP-sis)
bonsai (bohn-SAH-ee)
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Beanivona, Makira Protected Area, Toamasina, Madagascar. Photo by Dr. William J. Baker, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew/Palmweb.
Scientific Classification
Genus: Dypsis (DIP-sis)
Species:
bonsai (bohn-SAH-ee)
Synonyms
None set.
Native Continent
Africa
Africa.gif
Morphology
Habit: Solitary
Leaf type: Pinnate
Culture
Survivability index
Common names
Bonsai Palm

Habitat and Distribution

Dypsis bonsai is endemic to Madagascar. Marojejy area and Masoala Peninsula; possibly
Beanivona, Makira Protected Area, Toamasina, Madagascar. Photo by Dr. William J. Baker, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew/Palmweb.
Zahamena. Low forest or ericoid vegetation on ridge crests; alt. 1000-1700 m.

Description

Solitary palm. STEMS 1-2 m tall; distal internodes 0.7-1.3 cm, 6-8 mm in diam, reddish pubescent; nodal scars 2 mm. LEAVES 4-8 in the crown, pinnate; sheath 6.5-9 cm long, the outer open, densely reddish pubescent, with auricles 3 mm; petiole 1-4 cm long, 2-2.5 mm wide, densely to sparsely pubescent; rachis 10-18 cm long, in mid-leaf about 2 mm wide, densely to sparsely pubescent; leaflets 10-14 on each side of the rachis, in groups of 2-5, the group interval 1.5-5 cm, the proximal 4-9 x 0.2-1 cm, median 5.5-11 x 0.6-2.2 cm, distal 3-5 x 0.2-1.2 cm, main veins faint, 1 (-5), with scattered scales or almost glabrous, but distally on the margin with some longer scales, apices acuminate, unequal, distal pair joined for 0.5-1.2 cm, narrowly dentate. INFLORESCENCE interfoliar, branched to 1-2 orders with orange axes; peduncle (13-) 22-28 cm long, 3-6 mm in diam., densely pubescent; prophyll 13-20 cm long, 8-11 mm wide, with scattered scales, open in the distal few cm; peduncular bract inserted at about 15 cm from the base of the peduncle, about 11 cm long, open for two-thirds, with a 3 mm long beak, quickly deciduous; non-tubular peduncular bract 2-6 x 5 mm; rachis 3-5.5 cm long, puberulous, with up to 3 (but usually without) forked first order branches, and 5-13 unbranched first order branches; rachillae 4-12 cm long, 1.5-2.5 mm in diam., densely pubescent or puberulous, or with sparse scales. STAMINATE FLOWERS with sepals orange, 1.3-1.8 x 1.2-1.7 mm; petals orange, 2-2.6 x 1.3-1.5 mm (on an up to 0.6 mm high receptacle); stamens 6, white, uniseriate, the filaments 0.6-0.9 mm long and thin, the anthers 1.2-1.3 x 0.5-0.7 mm, dorsifixed with parallel locules; pistillode 0.7-1 x 0.3 mm, conical. PISTILLATE FLOWERS with sepals 1-2 x 1.3-2.2 mm; petals 3-3.4 x 3-3.6 mm; staminodes 6, 0.2-1 mm; pistil about 2.5 x 1.9 mm. FRUIT only seen young, then golden yellow and about 8.5 x 4 mm, with subaequatorial stigmatic remains. SEED 8 x 3.5 mm, with homogeneous endosperm. (J. Dransfield and H. Beentje. 1995)/Palmweb. Editing by edric.

Slightly similar to D. linearis in the stout, erect inflorescence with orange axes and very hairy, rather fat rachillae; but distinct in much slighter build, the build and size of the leaflets. Other relationships are probably with D. concinna and D. heterophylla. Nosy Varika: Sakaleona valley, June 1939 (fl., y.fr.), Decary 14220 (P) is similar, but differs in the petiole (6- 11 cm long), rachis (to 23 cm long), peduncle (14-16.5 cm), rachillae 14-18 cm long; the peduncular bract is inserted at 8 cm from the base of the peduncle, and is 10.5 cm long. Pistillate flowers were within the range given above; fruit was 6-6.5 x 4-5 mm, and seed 4 x 3 mm, with homogeneous endosperm. (J. Dransfield and H. Beentje. 1995)/Palmweb.

Culture

Cold Hardiness Zone: 10a

Comments and Curiosities

A beautiful little palm, with a name which is Japanese for 'dwarf tree' or 'dwarfed tree'; we believe this is a wind-dwarfed taxon, and it is one of the most beautiful of the smaller Madagascar palms; of course, the taxon has no connection with Japan, but it looks like a bonsai tree. (J. Dransfield and H. Beentje. 1995)/Palmweb.

Conservation: Vulnerable. Occurs in a fire susceptible habitat, over a limited area. Numbers presumably low (possibly fewer than 300). (J. Dransfield and H. Beentje. 1995)/Palmweb.


External Links

References

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.

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