Dypsis singularis

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Dypsis (DIP-sis)
Manombo, Madagascar. Photo by Dr. Henk Beentje, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew/Palmweb.
Scientific Classification
Genus: Dypsis (DIP-sis)
None set.
Native Continent
Habit: Solitary
Leaf type: Pinnate
Survivability index
Common names

Habitat and Distribution

Madagascar. Only known from Manombo forest. Lowland rain
Madagascar, photo by Bill
forest; slope base; Alt. about 45 m.


Solitary palm to 6 m. STEM distally about 1.5 cm. in diam; internodes distally about 0.5 cm, nodal scars about 1 mm. LEAVES about 6 in the crown, porrect, pinnate; sheath 9-13 cm long, with scattered reddish scales which are rather dense distally, and auricles to 1 cm long; petiole 0-1.5 cm long, 3-7 x 2-3 mm. in diam., with scattered scales; rachis 40-59 cm long, in mid-leaf 2.5-4 mm wide, with tiny scattered scales; leaflets 3-7 on each side of the rachis, solitary or in groups of 2, group interval 6-16 cm, leaflet interval 0.5-0.8 cm, proximal 8-16 x 0.6-2.2 cm, median 16-25 x 1.5-5 cm, distal 14-19 x 3.5-6 cm, main veins 3-5 (but faint), up to 7 in the distal pair, with scattered scales on the major and minor veins, distal pair joined for 4-8 cm, dentate over a width of 0.5-1.7 cm. INFLORESCENCE interfoliar, branched to 2 orders; peduncle 51-61 cm long, 2.5-3 mm. in diam., glabrous; prophyll 29-37 cm long, 8-18 mm wide, borne at 4-10 cm above the base of the peduncle, open in the distal 1.5-4 cm with scattered scales; peduncular bract inserted at 18-20 cm from the base of the peduncle, 36-41 cm long, open in the distal 3.5-5 cm, with scattered scales; rachis 37-69 cm long, glabrous, with 13-23 branched and 15-23 unbranched first order branches, the proximal to 12.5 cm long and with up to 7 rachillae; rachillae 5-19 cm long, 1 mm. in diam., glabrous. STAMINATE FLOWERS in young bud with sepals 0.5-0.7 x 0.5-0.8 mm; petals 0.8-1.3 x 0.7-0.8 mm; stamens 6, uni- or biseriate, didymous, filaments 0.3 mm long (and possibly connate for mm?), anthers 0.2 x 0.3 mm; pistillode c. 0.3-0.4 x 0.4 mm. PISTILLATE FLOWERS with sepals 0.6-0.7 x 0.6-1 mm; petals 1.2-1.5 x 0.9- mm; staminodes invisible; pistil 1.5-1.6 mm high, about 1.8-1.9 mm. in diam. FRUIT unknown. (J. Dransfield and H. Beentje. 1995)/Palmweb. Editing by edric.

With its few broad, connate leaflets and inflorescence branched to 2 orders it resembles D. commersoniana and D. humbertii but is distinct in the didymous anthers. (J. Dransfield and H. Beentje. 1995)/Palmweb.


Cold Hardiness Zone: 10a

Comments and Curiosities

A handsome small palm, sadly on its way to extinction. The name indicates that it is a peculiar taxon (due to the didymous stamens on a palm of this habit), as well as the fact that it is known from a single collection from only one site. Nevertheless, it is a distinct species. (J. Dransfield and H. Beentje. 1995)/Palmweb.

Conservation: Critical. Single-site status, in a forest being gradually destroyed by fire, shifting cultivation and logging; numbers low, estimated at less than a 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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