Dypsis scottiana

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Dypsis (DIP-sis)
scottiana (scott-ee-AHN-ah)
Tolagnaro, Fort Dauphin, Madagascar. Photo by Dr. John Dransfield, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew/Palmweb.
Scientific Classification
Genus: Dypsis (DIP-sis)
scottiana (scott-ee-AHN-ah)
None set.
Native Continent
Habit: Clustering
Leaf type: Pinnate
Survivability index
Common names
Raosy (Antanosy).

Habitat and Distribution

Endemic to Southeast Madagascar. Forest on white sand, heath scrub on white sand, once
Habitat, Madagascar. Photo by Phil Arrowsmith.
found in lowland rain forest; alt. 10-515 m.


Clustering palm in tufts of 3-16 STEMS 2-4 m tall, 0.6-2 cm in diam.; internodes 1-5 cm, pale grey, nodal scars 2-3 mm, slightly stepped. LEAVES 4-7 in the crown, porrect to spreading; sheath 8-31 cm long, 0.8-2 cm in diam., 2/3 closed in outermost leaves, light brown with dense red scales, glabrescent but distally always with some patches of scales, with small triangular auricles up to 2 mm high; petiole 4-30 cm long, 0.2-0.5 x 0.2-0.3 mm in diam., adaxially flat or slightly channelled, abaxially convex, with scattered scales, proximally often with a raised triangular continuation of the inner sheath lining; rachis 15-66 cm long, in mid-leaf 1-4 mm wide, with scattered scales on both surfaces; leaflets 11-27 on each side of the rachis, in groups of 2-8 (regular or nearly so in Decary 10729), interval between the groups 2.5-8 cm, interval between the leaflets 0.5-2 cm, the proximal 7-22 x 0.3-0.8 cm, median 8-24 x 0.6-2 cm, distal 6-15 x 0.4-2.7 cm, proximal and median with cuneate base, 1-3 main veins (prominent adaxially), and acuminate apex, glabrous or with a few scattered scales near the base and on the margins, the distal pair joined for 0.4-3.5 cm, with 3 main veins, narrow and dentate at the apex. INFLORESCENCE interfoliar to infrafoliar, erect to spreading to semi-pendulous, branched to (2) 3 (4) orders, 25-55 cm long; peduncle 12-25 cm long, proximally 3-6 mm in diam. and flattened, distally 1.6-5 mm in diam. and cylindrical, densely scaly but glabrescent; prophyll 14-26 cm long, borne at 2-3.5 cm above the base of the peduncle, up to 1.3 cm wide, pale brown with scattered scales, opening near the apex only; peduncular bract quickly deciduous, inserted at 7-14 cm from the base of the peduncle, 15-19 cm long, split in its distal half except for the distal 1-2 cm, with a narrow beak of 0.5-1 cm, pale brown with scattered scales; rarely with a small (1.5 mm) non-tubular peduncular bract in the distal part of the peduncle; rachis 7-40 cm long, scaly, with 7-27 branched and 0-10 unbranched first order branches, the proximal ones near their base 1.5-3 mm diam. and hardly flattened; rachillae 0.7-6.5 cm long, about 1 mm in diam., sparsely scaly, with distant superficial triads, with green to cream flowers. STAMINATE FLOWERS with sepals 0.5-0.8 x 0.8-1 mm, keeled, gibbous at the base, broadly ovate, rounded; petals on a 0.4 mm high receptacle, 1.4-1.8 x 1.4-1.6 mm, ovate to elliptic, acute, opening only slightly; stamens 6, at anthesis poking through the slits in the corolla, with the anthers held vertically, their openings upward, slightly 2-seriate, the antepetalous filaments with small swellings at the base and inserted slightly higher than the antesepalous ones, 1.2-1.5 mm long, thin, anthers 1.2-1.3 x 0.4-0.5 mm, dorsifixed, versatile, the locules parallel and obtuse; pistillode 0.7-0.8 mm high, ellipsoid, 0.5-0.6 mm in diam. PISTILLATE FLOWERS with sepals 0.8-1.1 x 1.2-1.8 mm, broadly ovate, rounded, concave; petals proximally imbricate and broadly ovate, distally triangular, fleshy and acute, 2-2.3 x 1.6-2.2 mm; staminodes 6, 0.3-0.5 mm, dentiform, flat; gynoecium 2.4-2.6 x 2-2.2 mm, asymmetrically gibbous. FRUIT red, ellipsoid, 6 -11 x 3.5- 6.5 mm, with slightly pointed apex; mesocarp fleshy, about 1 mm thick; endocarp fibrous with free fibres. SEED ellipsoid, 6.5-9 x 3-5 mm, obtuse to pointed at both ends; endosperm homogeneous. EOPHYLL bifid. (J. Dransfield and H. Beentje. 1995)/Palmweb. Editing by edric.


Cold Hardiness Zone: 10a

Comments and Curiosities

A very distinct species from the white sand forest of southern Madagascar, with elegant, slender inflorescences with short rachillae. This species would probably do very well as an ornamental; not only is it beautiful, but its habitat indicates it would tolerate fairly dry climates, probably along the lines of D. lutescens. The name refers to the collector of the type, George Francis Scott Elliot (1862-1934) who collected in Madagascar between 1888 and 1890. (J. Dransfield and H. Beentje. 1995)/Palmweb.

Conservation: Vulnerable. Distribution area small, in a specialized habitat which is under threat of mining operations and fire. Numbers are estimated at less than five hundred. (J. Dransfield and H. Beentje. 1995)/Palmweb.

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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