Dypsis leucomalla

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Dypsis (DIP-sis)
leucomalla (leh-oo-KOHM-ahl-laha)
White2.jpg
Garden of Jeff & Suchin Marcus, Hawaii.
Scientific Classification
Genus: Dypsis (DIP-sis)
Species:
leucomalla (leh-oo-KOHM-ahl-laha)
Synonyms
None set.
Native Continent
Africa
Africa.gif
Morphology
Habit: Clustering
Leaf type: Pinnate
Culture
Survivability index
Common names
None.

Habitat and Distribution

Madagascar, 200 km. west of Toamasina.
Floribunda Palms, Hawaii, photo by BGL.

Description

This most attractive palm with bright, almost fluorescent, ivory white new spear and petiole is almost impossible to misidentify as a juvenile. No other species is similar enough at this stage to cause confusion. Photos of a mature adult have yet to be knowingly identified.

Solitary palm. Leaf lamina 378 cm; unequal base of lamina - 85 leaflets on one side of rachis, 6 extra leaflets on other; middle leaflet 108 cm long x 8.5 cm wide; regularly arranged with conspicuous ramenta on under-surface. Petiole width 10 cm at base./Kew. Editing by edric.

Culture

Cold Hardiness Zone: 10a

Comments and Curiosities

Etymology: Genus name Dypsis; Derivation obscure. Specific epithet, From the Greek meaning white wool referring to the white indumentum on the spathes and leaf petioles.

A small amount of seeds of this magnificent and apparently undescribed palm from Madagascar had first been brought into cultivation in the mid 1990's as D. tsarantananensis. Its origin had been lost subsequently, leading some to think it may even have gone extinct, the palm has now been found again in rainforests in the mountains of eastern central Madagascar. It has a few features that are reminiscent of D. bejofo and seems to be related to that species. In cultivation it is now mostly referred to as Dypsis sp. 'white petiole'. While it appears to be rather slow growing, at least in its early stages, it develops into a breathtakingly beautiful ornamental palm with white leaf stalks (petioles) and white leaf bases that fade into orange brown towards the base. The leafstalks and bases have a curious, soft, felt-like surface. The leaves are strongly keeled and beautifully recurving towards the tip and hold numerous, evenly arranged, stiff, deep dark green leaflets that contrast stunningly with the white petioles. The compact and much-branched flowering stalk is produced from among the leaves and at first protected by a pure white bract. It appears to be an excellent palm for the tropics but may also do well in frost free warm temperate climates. (from rarepalmseeds.com)

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


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).

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Many Special Thanks to Ed Vaile for his long hours of tireless editing and numerous contributions.

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