Dypsis oropedionis

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Dypsis (DIP-sis)
Ambohitsaratelo, Tsiroanomandid, Madagascar. Photo by Dr. John Dransfield, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew/Palmweb.
Scientific Classification
Genus: Dypsis (DIP-sis)
None set.
Native Continent
Habit: Solitary
Leaf type: Pinnate
Survivability index
Common names
Plateau Palm.

Habitat and Distribution

Endemic to Madagascar. Known from two sites on the western side of the central high plateaux.
New Zealand. "I have three planted as a group. About 2 years ago they suddenly took off after years of glacial growth." That new leaf is about 9 feet long. Photo by Richnorm.
Antananarivo, and Toliara Provence. Relict dry evergreen plateau forest in steepsided valleys; 1100-1450 m.


Solitary palm. TRUNK 8-20 m tall, 27-35 cm. in diam., near the crown 20 cm. in diam.; internodes 10-20 cm, grey-brown but distally green, nodal scars pronounced, 4-5 cm; crownshaft grey-green, covered in white wax. LEAVES tristichous, 6-11 in the crown, porrect to spreading; sheath grey-green, white-waxy, 80-157 cm, without auricles; petiole 25-35 cm long, channelled, densely scaly, 5.5-6 x 4.5-5 cm. in diam.; rachis about 3.1 m, in mid-leaf about 3.5 cm wide; pinnae 80-172 on each side of the rachis, in groups of 3-9 and fanned within the groups, stiff with the distal 1/3 pendulous, the proximal 80-93 x 1.7-2.1 cm, median 102-110 x 2-3.5 cm, distal 15-43 x 0.8-1.8 cm, main vein 1, plus thickened margins, with few ramenta to 8 mm long, otherwise glabrous, apices unequally bifid, attenuate. INFLORESCENCE infrafoliar, branched to 3 orders, spreading, 85-130 x 90-100 cm; peduncle 18-40 cm, about 10 x 6 cm. in diam., glabrous; prophyll about 72 x 20 cm, borne at about 11 cm above the base of the peduncle, erect, split over its length; peduncular bract deciduous, inserted at 18 cm from the base of the peduncle, 87 cm long, 24 cm wide, closed for its distal 7 cm beak; rachis with about 27 branched and 13 unbranched first order branches, these proximally 3.4-4 x 1.4-1.5 cm. in diam.; rachis bracts to 7 mm long; rachillae spreading-pendulous, cream, 10-37 cm long, 3.5-5 mm. in diam., glabrous. (J. Dransfield and H. Beentje. 1995)/Palmweb. Editing by edric.


Cold Hardiness Zone: 10a

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Comments and Curiosities

Dypsis Sp. 'Jurassic Park' has a homogeneous endosperm in the seed and Dypsis oropedionis is ruminate. The palms look similar but are a different species. (J.D. Andersen Nursery, Hawaii.)

Although the material of this palm is incomplete, it needs a name; it is clearly distinct, and severely threatened. The specific name is Greek for 'of the plateau', referring to the habitat. (J. Dransfield and H. Beentje. 1995)/Palmweb.

Conservation: Critical. Numbers within the two sites were low; both populations are without real protection, with their habitat under serious threat from annual fires as well as tree-cutting. (J. Dransfield and H. Beentje. 1995)/Palmweb.

A tall and beautiful palm of the eastern central high plateaux on Madagascar, where it grows in remnants of dry evergreen forest between 1100 and 1500 m (3600 to 4900 ft.). Like so many Madagascar palms, it is critically endangered and its only chance for survival may lie in cultivation. It has a slender, ringed trunk and a spreading crown of large, densely plumose leaves. Due to its high altitude habitat it should prove to be well adapted to warm temperate as well as tropical climates and should not be harmed by an occasional freeze. D. oropedionis is a new introduction to cultivation and has the most promising prospects of becoming a hugely popular, easy and fast growing landscaping palm that would lend itself very well to commercial production. (RPS.com)

This is a tillering palm, it exhibits saxophone style root growth (it has a heel), keep top third of heel above soil elevation!

==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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