Dypsis fasciculata

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Dypsis (DIP-sis)
SoCal. Photo by Geoff Stein.
Scientific Classification
Genus: Dypsis (DIP-sis)
None set.
Native Continent
Habit: Solitary or clustering
Leaf type: Pinnate
Survivability index
Common names

Habitat and Distribution

Endemic to North East Madagascar, from Antalaha and Marojejy to Betampona. Lowland forest
Foulpointe, Madagascar. Photo by Dr. John Dransfield, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew/Palmweb.
near the coast, often on white sands, rare inland; Alt. 5-225 m.


Solitary or clustering palm of the forest undergrowth. STEMS 3-6 m tall, about 15-40 mm in diam., internodes to 40 mm long near base, about 15 mm long, in mature stems near the crown, green with scattered dark brown scales. LEAVES about 8 in the crown; crownshaft well developed; sheaths 13-24 x 1.5-2.5 cm, densely covered with dark red-brown scales, these sometimes in vertical patches; auricles sometimes present, soon tattering; petiole 8-35 cm long, 5-10 x 3-5 mm in cross section, bearing abundant caducous choco-late-brown scales; rachis 70-90 cm or more long; leaflets 11-23 on each side of the rachis, conspicuously grouped in 2s-6s (usually 3s-4s), about 10-20 cm between the groups, the proximal few leaflets usually very slender and short (to 16 x 0.3), mid-leaf leaflets 20-47 x 1-4 cm, including the long attenuate drip tip, apical leaflets 10-20 x 2.5-6 cm; leaflet surfaces glabrous. INFLORESCENCE interfoliar, shorter than the leaves, branching to 2 orders; peduncle to about 50 cm long, 0.8-1.5 cm wide at base, tapering to about 4 mm widedistally, densely covered in red-brown scales; prophyll inserted about 6-11 cm above base, 10-40 x 0.8-1.2 cm, sparsely dark scaly; peduncular bract inserted to 14 cm above prophyll, exceeding the prophyll tip by about 8-11 cm; rachis 20-46 cm, basally scaly as the peduncle, distally glabrescent; rachillae spreading or pendulous, 16-30 in number, average 20, about 50 cm long, about 1.5-2 mm in diam. at anthesis, increasing to about 3 mm. in diam. in fruit, glabrous, rachilla bracts rounded, very inconspicuous, triads c. 2 mm distant, in shallow pits. STAMINATE FLOWERS c. 2 x 1.5 mm; sepals c. 1.4 x 0.6 mm, irregularly split and keeled; petals about 1.6 x 1.2 mm, striate; stamens 3 antesepalous, filaments broad 1.0 x 0.6 mm, anther thecae free, ± pendulous, about 0.7 x 0.2 mm; pistillode pyramidal, 0.7 x 0.4 mm. PISTILLATE FLOWERS about 2.5 x 1.9 mm; sepals rounded, about 1.1 x 1.1, striate, irregularly erose; petals rounded triangular, irregularly imbricate, about 2 x 1.8 mm; staminodes 3 (4), minute, toothlike, 0.2 x 0.1 mm; ovary rounded to top-shaped, 2 x 1.8 mm. FRUIT green (?still immature}, 14 x 7.5 mm. SEED 10 x 4 mm; endosperm homogeneous; embryo lateral near the base. (J. Dransfield and H. Beentje. 1995)/Palmweb. Editing by edric.

The interpretation of this name has caused particular problems, because we have been unable to locate the type, Perrier 12402, from Antalaha, which, we assume, should be in Paris. Using Jumelle's imperfect description, we have here applied the name to a taxon from forest near the Bay of Antongil, further to the south from Antalaha, that keys out to D. fasciculata and which more or less fits the protologue. Perhaps most significant is Jumelle's description of the stamen form. He describes the thecae as being pendulous, a most unusual stamen type in Dypsis; those collections cited here that have staminate flowers also have stamens of this form. Should the type ever be found, then the conspecificity of the newly collected material will have to be checked. We have also recently made two collections of this taxon on Î;le Sainte Marie, one (sterile) from the Forêt de Kalalao, near to the historic locality Tafondro where Boivin collected, and one (fertile) from the Forêt d'Ambohidena (see notes under Dypsis thouarsiana). As interpreted here, this is a distinctive, easily distinguished species, with fascicled leaflets and inflorescences branched to two orders, with lax spreading or pendulous rachillae and staminate flowers with only three stamens with pendulous and divergent thecae. Miller 3327 from Marojejy differs from the other collections cited in being rather small and slender in all its parts. Neverthess it seems to belong here. (J. Dransfield and H. Beentje. 1995)/Palmweb.


Cold Hardiness Zone: 10a

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Comments and Curiosities

This species occurs in lowlands near the coast; recently made collections are for the most part from forest developed on white sands, poor in nutrients, but the palm will also grow on laterite soils. When growing vigorously this can be quite a handsome species but it is usually rather untidy, with narrow grouped leaflets. Superficially it resembles a depauperate form of Dypsis nodifera. The species name refers to the grouped leaflets. (J. Dransfield and H. Beentje. 1995)/Palmweb.

Conservation: Vulnerable. This is quite widespread but occurs in coastal forests that are often affected by fire.

A smallish palm from rainforests in northeastern Madagascar with slender, solitary or clustering stems to 6 m (20 ft.) tall and somewhat untidy crowns of pinnate leaves with narrow, grouped leaflets. A quick-growing palm best suited for the tropical garden. (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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