Orania trispatha

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Orania (oh-rahn-EE-ah)
trispatha (trih-SPAH-thah)
Iketra, Masoala, Madagascar. Photo by Dr. John Dransfield, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew/Palmweb.
Scientific Classification
Genus: Orania (oh-rahn-EE-ah)
trispatha (trih-SPAH-thah)
None set.
Native Continent
Habit: Solitary
Leaf type: Pinnate
Survivability index
Common names
Sindro or Sindroa (Betsimisaraka); Anivo (Antaisaka).

Habitat and Distribution

Endemic to Madagascar, mainly on the eastern part of the island facing the
Sava, Antsiranana, MG, AF, Madagascar. Photo by Dr. Romer Rabarijaona, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Indian Ocean. On flat ground near streams, swamp edges; alt. 50-400 m. Varying from lowland up to highland tropical rain forest, commonly found near to rivers or even also found growing in swamp forest, with altitude range from 50 ? 400 m above sea level. (A.P. Keim and J. Dransfield. 2012)/Palmweb.


Large palm. Trunk about 15 - 22 m tall, about 20 - 30 cm in diam. at breast height, much swollen at base, trunk very hard, bark light brown, internodes 12 cm, scars 5 cm, brighter coloured. Leaves 10 - 12 in the crown, distichously arranged, about 3.01 - 5 m long, in some individuals also with appearance of brown coloured resin in every section; leaf-sheath massive, about 20.5 - 60 cm long, 19.5 - 20 cm wide, margins disintegrating into fibres, adaxial surface with thin red-brown tomentum and wax, abaxial surface with dense redbrown tomentum and wax; petiole about 75 - 200 cm long, about 2 - 2.5 cm in diam., with dense red-brown tomentum, wax present, margins disintegrating into fibres; rachis about 205 - 240 cm long, about 2.5 - 3 cm in diam., with dense red-brown tomentum and wax; leaflets elongate-lanceolate, regularly arranged leaflets held in one plane, 60 - 65 on each side of rachis, leaflets about 4 - 5 cm distant, about 98 - 110 cm long, 4.5 - 5.5 cm wide, adaxial surface glabrous, with shiny surface, with red-brown tomentum and white indumentums on midrib, midrib robust, other ribs slender; abaxial surface densely covered with white indumentums and thin red-brown tomentum, mainly on basal part and every rib, midrib thick, other ribs slender; ramenta present, mainly on midrib and sparsely on nearby ribs, about 1 cm long, greyish white. Inflorescence spreading, branching to 3 - 4 orders, robust, about 1.46 - 1.5 m long, in some individuals with strong fragrance; prophyll persistent, about 28.5 - 40 cm long, 7 - 12 cm wide, adaxial surface glabrous, abaxial surface with red-brown tomentum, adaxially disintegrating into mass of fibres when old, curly; peduncle about 16 - 25 cm long, with dense red-brown tomentum; peduncular bracts two, woody, persistent, splitting in the middle, margins disintegrating into fibres, proximal peduncular bract about 45 cm long, proximally attached about 18 - 19 cm, adaxial surface glabrous, abaxial surface with dense red-brown tomentum, distal peduncular bract about 90 cm long, proximally attached about 7 - 8 cm, adaxial surface glabrous, abaxial surface with redbrown tomentum and white indumentum; rachis 30 - 40 cm long, with dense red-brown tomentum; about 8 - 10 first order branches, about 9 - 20 cm long, 2nd order branches about 6.5 - 9 cm long; 3rd order branches about 5.5 cm long, rachis bract conspicuous, about 3.5 × 9 cm; rachillae robust, about 28 - 35 cm long each, bearing 36 - 42 flower clusters, bearing triads in the proximal 1=10 part, maximum number of triads 6, rarely seen with 6 triads in rachilla, the basal about 3 cm devoid of flowers. Staminate flowers with calyx of 3 minute united sepals; corolla with 3 free petals, about 12 × 5 mm wide; stamens 40 - 42, filaments dark-brown, free, about 1.25 - 1.5 mm long, anthers elongatelanceolate, pale creamy yellow, 5 - 6 mm long, free; pistillodes absent. Pistillate flowers with calyx of 3 united sepals, about 2 mm long; corolla with 3 free petals, about 3 cm long, 1.1 - 1.2 cm wide; staminodes more than 20, about 7 mm long, uniform; gynoecium about 20 mm long, 9 - 10 mm wide, stigma with 3 elongate lobes, about 6 mm long, darker coloured. Fruits globose, bilobed or trilobed, green to yellowish green when mature, about 4 - 5 cm in diam.; epicarp smooth, thin; mesocarp fibrous, about 3 mm thick; endocarp thinner than mesocarp, hard, red-brown; testa conspicuously thin, attached to endosperm; endosperm white, about 3 - 3.5 cm in diam., with a hollow inside, liquid endosperm present, said to taste bitter (Dransfield & Beentje 1995). Embryo placed below middle line of seed. Eophyll bifid or pinnate (observed in Beentje 4522). (A.P. Keim and J. Dransfield. 2012)/Palmweb. Editing by edric.


Prefers a sheltered position when young, but can take full sun as it gets bigger. Likes lots of water. Cold Hardiness Zone: 10b

Comments and Curiosities

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).

A.P. Keim and J. Dransfield. 2012. A monograph of the genus Orania (Arecaceae: Oranieae).

J. Dransfield & H. Beentje, The Palms of Madagascar. 1995. 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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