Dypsis psammophila

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Dypsis (DIP-sis)
psammophila (sahm-moh-FEE-lah
Scientific Classification
Genus: Dypsis (DIP-sis)
psammophila (sahm-moh-FEE-lah
None set.
Native Continent
Habit: Clustering
Leaf type: Pinnate
Survivability index
Common names

Habitat and Distribution

Endemic to East Madagascar, between Soanierana- Ivongo and Ambila-Lemaitso. Coastal
Analalava reserve - Foulpointe, Madagascar. "Photo by Olivier Reilhes"
forest on white sand; alt. 5 m.


Clustering palm. STEMS to 4 (-6) m, 3 cm. in diam., 1.7 cm. in diam. near crown; bark tending to be black, internodes about 15 cm near base, 1.2-1.8 cm near crown; crownshaft 40 cm, green with white wax. LEAVES arcuate, about 2 m; sheath 27-30 cm, with dense scattered scales, no ligule; petiole 20 cm, proximally 0.5 x 0.45 cm, distally 0.5 x 0.4 cm. in diam., with minute scales; rachis about 76 cm long, with densely scattered scales; leaflets about 40 on each side of the rachis, regular, strongly curved, proximal 27-41 x 0.3-0.8 cm, median 36-37 x 0.7-0.9 cm, distal 8.5-37 x 0.2-0.9 cm, adaxially glaucous, main vein 1, ramenta few or sometimes 0-1, basal, otherwise glabrous, apex attenuate, unequally bifid. INFLORESCENCE branching to 2 orders; peduncle 31 cm, with non-sheathing peduncular bracts (10-12 mm) at 26 and 29 cm above the base of the peduncle; prophyll 21-2 cm; peduncular bract 41 cm (from base of peduncle, not insertion point), glabrous; rachis about 13 cm, 7 x 4 mm. in diam. proximally; narrowly triangular, 7 mm; rachillae 13-18 cm, with bare basal part 1.5-2 mm. in diam., glabrous, with triads distant and in slight pits; on the Onive R., April 1971, fr., Moore 9920 at P) seems intermediate between this taxon and D. onilahensis. It occurs in low canopy rain forest, has the inflorescence and fruit of the former, but the leaves resemble those of the latter - although admittedly on the short side. It has no petiole. The habit is also more like onilahensis, with a solitary trunk about 10 m high and 7.5 cm. in diameter. The local name was lafazovombona. (J. Dransfield and H. Beentje. 1995)/Palmweb. Editing by edric.


Cold Hardiness Zone: 10a

PFC for PP.png

Comments and Curiosities

Another species close to D. lutescens, but much more slender with spindly stems towering above the coastal bush. The name means 'sand-loving', since this taxon is restricted to coastal white sands. (J. Dransfield and H. Beentje. 1995)/Palmweb.

D. psammophila is native to eastern Madagascar, confined to a small white-sand coastal habitat which it shares with the much more widespread D. lutescens. In fact, the two clustering species are closely related, distinguished by the fact that D. psammophila produces thinner stems, smaller leaves, and smaller fruit and seed. Crownshafts feature white, waxy highlights. Maximum height is close to 20 ft., and stems turn nearly black with age. The IUCN Red List conservation status of D. psammophila is Endangered, with a decreasing population trend. (fairchildgarden.org)

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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