Dypsis coriacea

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Dypsis (DIP-sis)
coriacea (kohr-ee-ah-SEH-ah)
Sahavary, Masoala, Madagascar, photo by Dr. John Dransfield, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew/Palmweb.
Scientific Classification
Genus: Dypsis (DIP-sis)
coriacea (kohr-ee-ah-SEH-ah)
None set.
Native Continent
Habit: Solitary & clustering.
Leaf type: Pinnate
Survivability index
Common names

Habitat and Distribution

Endemic to Madagascar. Masoala, Maroantsetra and Mananara. Lowland rain forest; on steep slope
Sahavary, Masoala, Madagascar, photo by Dr. John Dransfield, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew/Palmweb.
near stream, or on ridgetops; alt. 200-400 m.


Solitary or clustering palm. STEM(S) 1-2 m high, diam. < 1 cm; distal internodes 2-4.5 cm, pale green with dense to scattered reddish pubescence; nodal scars about 1 mm. LEAVES 6-9 in the crown, entire or with 4 leaflets; sheath 4-9 cm long, closed, pale brown with reddish scales and without or with auricles to 8 mm long; petiole 1-12 cm long, channelled, about 2 mm in diam., with scattered scales; lamina entire, leathery, rich shiny green and occasionally metallic-tinged, 15-41 x 6-8 cm, lobes 5-12 x 1.5-4 cm; main vein 1, with sparse red and white scales on the midrib, otherwise with few scattered scales to glabrous, the lamina often white-punctate, often with a single deep (to 6 cm) lacuna, in the distal quarter the margins toothed, the teeth to 16 mm long. INFLORESCENCE interfoliar, unbranched, spreading; peduncle 8-28 cm long, 2-3 mm in diam., glabrous; prophyll 5-16 cm long, 4-6 mm wide, opening in the distal 1cm only, with scattered scales to almost glabrous; peduncular bract inserted at 5-13 from the base of the peduncle, 3-12 cm long, open in the distal 1-1.5 cm, with scattered scales, quickly deciduous; non-tubular peduncular bract 2-2.5 mm; rachilla 3-26 cm long, 1-2 mm in diam., densely pubescent to puberulous, with distant triads. STAMINATE FLOWERS with sepals 0.8-1.5 x 0.7-1.6 mm, ciliolate, with scales; petals white, 1.8-2.4 x 1-1.7 mm, striate; stamens 6, uniseriate or very slightly biseriate, filaments 0.8-1.5 mm, thin, anthers 0.8-1.6 x 0.3-0.6 mm, versatile; pistillode 0.7-1 x 0.3-0.5 mm. PISTILLATE FLOWERS with sepals 0.8-1.2 x 1.4-1.7 mm; petals 2.1-4 x 1-2.8 mm; staminodes 6, about 0.5 mm; ovary about 2 x 1.3 mm. FRUIT when young narrowly ovoid, 11-15 x 4.5-6 mm, obtuse, with fleshy mesocarp and fibrous endocarp. SEED about 12.5 x 4 mm, with homogeneous endosperm. (J. Dransfield and H. Beentje. 1995)/Palmweb. Editing by edric.

The species somewhat resembles D. lucens but the leaf veins are glabrous and there are no ramenta; the rachilla is puberulous. It also resembles D. catatiana, but has versatile stamens (not didymous ones). There is some variation in the degree of lobing and the length of the rachilla. (J. Dransfield and H. Beentje. 1995).


Cold Hardiness Zone: 10a

Comments and Curiosities

A very attractive small palm with thick shiny leaves. This species was known as 'leather-leaf' among collectors, and the Latin name is a straight translation of this. The entire leaf dries pale green, which is most distinctive. (J. Dransfield and H. Beentje. 1995)/Palmweb.

Conservation: Vulnerable. The species has a limited distribution area, most of which is unprotected and under some threat. (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).
Many Special Thanks to Ed Vaile for his long hours of tireless editing and numerous contributions.

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