Dypsis corniculata

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Dypsis (DIP-sis)
Antambe; Mananara Avaratra, Madagascar Photo by Dr. John Dransfield, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew/Palmweb.
Scientific Classification
Genus: Dypsis (DIP-sis)
None set.
Native Continent
Habit: Variations of solitary & clustering.
Leaf type: Pinnate
Survivability index
Common names

Habitat and Distribution

Endemic to Madagascar. Mananara, Mandritsara, Sainte-Marie, Betampona. Rain forest,
Ile Sainte Marie, Madagascar. Jeff Searle for scale, Searle Brothers Nursery, FL.
flat to steep mid slopes or ridgetops; alt. 70-850 m.


Clustering palm, plus in groups of 5 or so, or solitary, but in subcolonial groups. STEMS 1.5-6 m tall, occasionally with remnants of sheath bases; distal internodes 0.8-2 cm long, 5-20 mm in diam., greybrown, distally reddish pubescent; crownshaft pale green with dark brown scales. LEAVES 6-10 in the crown; sheath 6-15 cm, with patches of reddish scales or with scattered scales, with laciniate auricles to 15 mm; petiole absent or up to 7.5 cm long, 2-2.5 mm in diam., with scattered scales; rachis 13-40 cm long, in mid-leaf about 2 mm wide, with dense to scattered scales; leaflets 9-18 on each side of the rachis, in groups of 2-4 but sometimes the distal ones regular, the group interval 3-6 cm, the proximal 4- 10 x 0.4-1.8 cm, median 6-14 x 1.2-2.6 cm, distal 5-10 x 1-2.5 cm, main veins 1-3, with marginal bands of scattered scales, sometimes with scattered scales on the major and minor veins, and distally along the margin with some larger scales, apices unequally acuminate to almost praemorse, bases often flat and connate with the rachis for about 5 mm, distal pair joined for 1.5-4 cm, with bands of scattered scales, dentate at the apex. INFLORESCENCE interfoliar, branched to 1 or 2 order(s); peduncle 9-26 cm long, distally 2-5 mm in diam., pubescent or with scattered to dense red-brown scales; prophyll 16-27 x 0.6 cm, borne at about 6 cm above the base of the peduncle, with scattered scales, the apex open for 1-2 cm; peduncular bract inserted at 4-15 cm from the base of the peduncle, 4-11 cm long, with scattered scales, open over its whole length except for a 5 mm beak, deciduous and carried upwards by the lengthening INFLORESCENCE; non-tubular peduncular bract 1-20 mm, sometimes almost tubular; rachis 1-9 cm long, scaly, with 0-6 branched and 3-16 unbranched branches; rachillae (3-) 6- 14 cm long, 1-1.5 mm in diam., slightly zigzag, minutely puberulous with a few scales, with distant triads. STAMINATE FLOWERS with sepals 1-1.5 x 1-2.1 mm, the middle one very asymmetric, ciliolate; petals white, 2.2-2.5 x 1.2-1.4 mm, on a 0.4 mm high receptacle; stamens 6, uniseriate, the filaments 0.6-1 mm, thin, anthers 0.7-1.5 x 0.4-0.8 mm, versatile; pistillode 0.6-0.8 x 0.2-0.3 mm. PISTILLATE FLOWERS with sepals 0.9-1.7 x 1-2.4 mm, orbicular, slightly keeled, entire, the innermost largest; petals 2-3.5 x 2.3-3.5 mm, suborbicular, striate, imbricate with brief triangular valvate apices; staminodes 6, 0.2-0.6 mm; pistil 1.5-3.6 x 0.8-2.2 mm. FRUIT red, ellipsoid, 10-12 x 4-5.5 mm, with an obtuse point; endocarp fibrous, the fibres free or slghtly anastomosing. SEED about 7.5 x 4.5 mm, pointed at the base, rounded at the apex, with a median depression and homogeneous endosperm. (J. Dransfield and H. Beentje. 1995)/Palmweb. Editing by edric.


Cold Hardiness Zone: 10a

Comments and Curiosities

This is a very beautiful small and neat undergrowth palm with slender stems and dark green, shiny leaves. Based originally on a single inflorescence, this species remained for long a misunderstood taxon. The specific name is Latin for 'curved in the shape of a horn', presumably a reference to the young fruit. (J. Dransfield and H. Beentje. 1995)/Palmweb.

Conservation: Vulnerable. Numbers are thought to be low (less than two hundred). (J. Dransfield and H. Beentje. 1995)/Palmweb.

Somewhat similar to the famed D. thiryana, this small, clustering palmlet from rainforests to 850 m (2800 ft.) in northeastern Madagascar grows thin, canelike stems and small crowns of the most beautiful, glossy leaves with leaflets arranged in small, fanned groups. The leaflets near the leaf tip have jagged ends. It prefers a protected place in the humid, tropical garden but will also grow in some warm temperate areas. (RPS.com)

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. 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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