Dypsis robusta

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Dypsis (DIP-sis)
robusta (roh-BOOS-tah)
P1010867.JPG
Marcus Garden, Hawaii.
Scientific Classification
Genus: Dypsis (DIP-sis)
Species:
robusta (roh-BOOS-tah)
Synonyms
None set.
Native Continent
Africa
Africa.gif
Morphology
Habit: Solitary
Leaf type: Pinnate
Culture
Survivability index
Common names
None.

Habitat and Distribution

Endemic to
Brisbane Botanic Gardens, Mount Coot-tha, Brisbane, Australia. Photo by Paul Latzias.
Madagascar.

Description

A solitary, robust palm. Trunk 1.4 m tall, 36.4 cm. in diam. (l m above ground), flaring to 64 cm. in diam. at ground level; internodes 5-6.5 cm, dark green covered with white waxy indumentum, aging to brownish gray with vertical fissures; leaf scars 3.8 cm wide. Leaves about 14 in the crown, pinnate, ascending; base massive, 95 cm long, 25 cm wide adaxially and 40 cm wide abaxially at pinnae, flaring out to 115 cm wide in proximal 35 cm, thick, + woody, 12 cm think at pinnae, 3-4 cm thick midsheath, 1.5 cm thick at proximal margins, 3-5 mm thick at distal margins, orange-brown adaxially, densely covered with white waxy indumentum densely punctuated with ragged, branched, lacerate, fringed, reddish brown scales 2-2.5 mm high, sometimes with auricles to 8 cm high on either side of rachis; rachis to 4.6 m long, distally twisting nearly 180°, 25 cm wide and broadly channeled adaxially at sheath, 40 cm wide and broadly rounded abaxially at sheath, both surfaces green and densely covered with white waxy indumentum and reddish brown tomentum, adaxial channel to 4 cm deep but gradually narrowing and becoming shallower until at mid-blade a flattopped ridge and then 40 cm distally of midblade into a narrow sharply angled ridge 1.5 cm high, gradually dissipating near tip, rachis 4 cm wide midblade and 3 mm wide at tip, rounded abaxially and covered with white waxy indumentum, freshly cut surfaces with pinkish tinge; pinnae 135-140 per side, regularly arranged but twisting rachis and ascending pinnae with drooping tips imparting the appearance of being irregularly arranged and lending a somewhat plumose effect to the blade, most proximal 63 x 1.3 cm, at 1-2 m distally of sheath 120 x 4.5 cm, at 3 m distally of sheath 80 x 5 cm, most distal 18 x 0.5 cm, thick, coriaceous, dark glossy green adaxially with prominently raised light green midrib and thickened marginal nerves, 5-6 inconspicuous nerves between midrib and each margin, green with distinct glaucous bloom abaxially and prominently raised midrib, scattered light brown to tan, ragged, lacerate, medifixed ramenta 4-10 mm long on midrib abaxially and these most common in mid-blade and in proximal 30 cm of each pinna, pinnae 4-7 cm apart in proximal meter, 3-4 cm apart mid-blade to tip, forward pointing, spreading and flat with slightly drooping tips in proximal 1 m, at mid-blade ascending off rachis and blade + V-shaped, tips drooping, pinnae flat in distal 1 m. Inflorescences protandrous, interfoliar, branched to 4 orders, most proximal branches of first three orders of branching the largest and most complex and progressively becoming smaller and less complex distally until most distal represented by simple rachillae; peduncle 1 m long, 9 cm wide, 5 cm thick, arcuate, green, covered with patchy reddish brown tomentum; only tip of prophyll or 1st peduncular bract seen,

Culture

In the subtropics this species takes about 12 to 15 years to form a trunk, it will take full sun from quite an early age and seems to grow it’s best in the ground in a well mulched garden, having said that this species seems to be quite tough and handle the cold and dry hard soils just as well only growing a little slower. Once this species does form a trunk it then becomes quite a steady grower and is a very spectacular landscaping palm with huge upright leaves to 4 to 5 m long. Cold Hardiness Zone: 10a (Utopia Palms & Cycads)

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Comments and Curiosities

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

References

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).

Hodel, D. , Marcus, J. & Dransfield, J. 2005. Dypsis robusta, a large new palm from cultivation. Palms 49(3): 128-130.
Many Special Thanks to Ed Vaile for his long hours of tireless editing and numerous contributions.

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