Dypsis viridis

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Dypsis (DIP-sis) viridis (vihr-EE-dis)
Dv10767488036 3a9b9452f7 k.jpg
Ambodiriana reserve - Manompana, Madagascar. "Photo by Olivier Reilhes"
Scientific Classification
Genus: Dypsis (DIP-sis)
Species: viridis (vihr-EE-dis)
None set.
Native Continent
Habit: Clustering
Leaf type: Pinnate
Survivability index
Common names

Habitat and Distribution

Endemic to NE Madagascar from the Bay of Antongil to Soanierana-Ivongo. Lowland and hill
Ambodiriana reserve - Manompana, Madagascar. "Photo by Olivier Reilhes"
rain forest on ridges; alt. up to 400 m.


Slender clustering forest undergrowth palm. STEMS to 1.5 m tall, 3-8 mm in diam., internodes 12-25 mm., very pale ivory-coloured but often with a vertical green stripe. LEAVES about 6-7 in the crown; sheath 5-6 cm long, 4-8 mm in diam., pale ivory-coloured, very sparsely scaly, auricles not developed; petiole 3-7 cm long, about 2 mm wide near the base, very sparsely scaly; rachis about 11 cm long; leaflets drying pale green, 2-7 on each side of the rachis, rather irregular, small, 7-20 x 1-3.5 cm, abaxially with scattered bands of caducous scales, otherwise glabrescent. INFLORESCENCE branching to 1 (2) orders; peduncle 12-41 cm long, glabrescent, usually shorter than the leaves but occasionally longer; prophyll 8-24 x 0.2-0.3 cm, very sparsely scaly; peduncular bract exceeding the prophyll by 4-12 cm, otherwise similar; rachis 5-8 cm, sparsely caducous scaly; rachillae 7-11, spreading, 1.2-6 cm long, about 0.5 mm in diam., somewhat angular, minutely brown papillose, ± glabrous; triads c. 1-1.5 mm distant, rachilla bracts inconspicuous. STAMINATE FLOWERS about 1.1 x 1 mm; sepals 0.5 x 0.8 mm, broad, rounded, imbricate, somewhat erose at margin, keeled; petals striate, 0.9 x 0.8 mm; stamens 3, antepetalous, alternating with 3 low triangular antesepalous staminodes, the filaments connate in basal 0.3 mm, anthers didymous 0.2 x 0.2; pistillode conical, minute. PISTILLATE FLOWERS known only in immature bud, about 0.8 mm in diam.; sepals broadly imbricate about 0.5 x 0.5 mm; petals striate, about 0.6 x 0.6 mm; other parts very immature. Ripe FRUIT cherry-red, ellipsoid, 10 x 5 mm. SEED 7 x 5 mm, endosperm homogeneous. (J. Dransfield and H. Beentje. 1995)/Palmweb. Editing by edric.

This is one of the smallest and most slender of the three-staminate species of Dypsis. It is a very dainty palm. Although Perrier 12031 is labelled as the type in Paris, Jumelle & Perrier (1945) explicitly cited Perrier 12057 as type. Both were cited as syn- types in the protologue. Two further collections may be referable to this species. Perrier 17466, from Ambodiriana, collected in November 1925 (P) is vegetatively very similar to the type of D. viridis but has an entire bifid leaf. It was identified by Jumelle as D. hirtula and used as the basis of the illustration of this species in Jumelle & Perrier (1945). It does not match the type of D. hirtula. Furthermore there are no staminate flowers to allow closer identification. D. hirtula has three antesepalous stamens while in D. viridis the three stamens are antepetalous. Cours 2513 from forest south of Mangabe, collected in January 1950 (K, P) is also similar to D. viridis in the position of the three stamens and in vegetative characters. The inflorescence has, however, more numerous and finer rachillae. It is tentatively determined as D. viridis. (J. Dransfield and H. Beentje. 1995)/Palmweb.


Cold Hardiness Zone: 10a

Comments and Curiosities

This is a most attractive slender clustering palm. Superficially it resembles a very slender form of Dypsis forficifolia, but the arrangement of the stamens in the present species is quite different. However, it can easily be distinguished, even when not in flower, by the numerous very slender stems in the clump, that are usually palest green, each internode marked with a vertical darker green stripe and by the irregularly divided leaflets of a thin dull green. We assume that the species name viridis (Latin - green) refers to the pale green colour that the plants assume on drying in the herbarium. (J. Dransfield and H. Beentje. 1995)/Palmweb.

Conservation: Vulnerable. At present the palm is known from very few localities and only at Antanambe is it within a protected area. (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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