Dypsis louvellii

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Dypsis (DIP-sis)
louvelli (loo-VEHL-lee)
GBPIX photo 515054.jpg
Andasibe, Madagascar - (2012) - East Coast of Madagascar. "Photo by Olivier Reilhes"
Scientific Classification
Genus: Dypsis (DIP-sis)
louvelli (loo-VEHL-lee)
None set.
Native Continent
Habit: Solitary
Leaf type: Entire bifid.
Survivability index
Common names

Habitat and Distribution

Endemic to Central Madagascar, Analamazaotra and environs. Lowland and montane forest,
Andasibe - Mitsinjo - Madagascar (2014) - East Coast of Madagascar. Photo by "Olivier Reilhes"
usually in valley bottoms; alt. 300-1100 m.


Solitary slender palm of the forest undergrowth, rarely exceeding 1 m tall. STEM 7-10 mm in diam., internodes 4-10 mm long, surface glabrous. LEAVES about 5-10 in the crown, tending to be held ± horizontally; leaf sheath 6-7 long, 1.0-1.4 cm in diam., drying dull brown, bearing abundant dark brown scales, the mouth with two short triangular auricle to 4 x 3 mm; petiole absent or very short, not exceeding about 2 cm; blade entire bifid, rather plicate, or, very rarely, divided into 3 distant narrow leaflets on each side; blade 19-50 cm long with a spread of 4.5-10 cm, the two lobes diverging at a very acute angle, 10-25 x 1.5-4 cm, where divided into leaflets, the leaflets 17-21 x 0.7-0.9 cm, adaxially with sparse punctiform scales, abaxially densely covered with brown punctiform scales. INFLORESCENCE interfoliar, arcuate, branching to 1 order, rarely the lowermost 1 or 2 first order branches branched to the second order; peduncle 20-35 x 0.15-0.2 cm, sparsely brown scaly; prophyll sometimes borne up to 2 cm above base of peduncle, 6-10 x 0.3-0.5 cm; peduncular bract exceeding the prophyll, 9-23 x 0.4 cm; rachis usually conspicuously shorter than the peduncle, 5-10 cm; rachillae generally few in number, 9-17, generally somewhat reflexed, 1.3-4 cm long, c. 1 mm in diam., sparsely brown scaly, bearing rather densely arranged triads. STAMINATE FLOWERS at anthesis ± ovoid, 1.6 mm long; sepals rounded to broadly triangular, about 0.7 x 0.7 mm, strongly keeled, inconspicuously dentate at the margins, abaxially slightly papillose, obscurely striate; petals connate in basal 0.25 mm, the lobes triangular, to 1 x 1 mm, abaxially smooth, glabrous; stamens 3 antesepalous, filaments to 0.75 x 0.3 mm, basally joined in the lowermost 0.2 mm, anthers somewhat sagittate, 0.5 x 0.3 mm, introrse; pistillode conical, minute, about 0.1 mm high. PISTILLATE FLOWERS at anthesis about 1.6 mm in diam.; sepals rounded to broadly triangular, about 0.7 x 0.7 mm, strongly keeled, inconspicuously dentate at the margins, abaxially slightly papillose, obscurely striate; petals about 1.5 x 1.5 mm, rounded to broadly triangular; staminodes 3, free, irregularly strap-shaped 0.2-0.4 x 0.2 mm; ovary irregularly reniform, about 1.2 mm at widest point, stigmas 3, eccentric near the apex, about 0.1 mm long.


Cold Hardiness Zone: 10a

Comments and Curiosities

A neat palmlet of the undergrowth of montane forest, first collected at Analamazaotra, Andasibe (Perinet). This is an easily distinguished species because of its deeply bifid leaf and slender inflorescence with few short rachillae. It has frequently been collected at the type locality where it is no longer very common near to the main trails. Louvel, after whom the palm is named, was a Forest Officer at the old French Forestry Station at Perinet (modern day Andasibe). (J. Dransfield and H. Beentje. 1995)/Palmweb.

Conservation: Vulnerable; all recent collections are from one small area. (J. Dransfield and H. Beentje. 1995)/Palmweb.

A beautiful dwarf palm from lowland and montane rainforests in eastern Madagascar, where it is found between 300 and 1100m (1000 and 3600 ft.) altitude. It sports a single, pencil-thin stem to 1m (3 ft.) tall that holds a dainty crown of up to 10, narrow, deeply bifid but otherwise undivided leaves. In cultivation it will do best in humid tropical and some warm temperate climates, where it is best kept in a sheltered spot away from direct sun. (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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