Dypsis bernieriana

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Dypsis (DIP-sis)
Hiaraka, Masoala, Madagascar. Photo by Dr. John Dransfield, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew/Palmweb.
Scientific Classification
Genus: Dypsis (DIP-sis)
None set.
Native Continent
Habit: Clustering
Leaf type: Entire bifid.
Survivability index
Common names
Ambosa (Betsimisaraka, fide Bernier).

Habitat and Distribution

Dypsis bernieriana is endemic to Madagascar. Masoala Peninsula and down the coast to
Hiaraka, Masoala, Madagascar. Photo by Dr. John Dransfield, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew/Palmweb.
Vatomandry. Lowland to submontane rain forest, steep slope; alt. 100-1200 m.


Solitary, dwarf palm. STEM to 1 m tall, 6-8 mm in diam. distally; internodes 2-10 mm, brown; nodal scars about 2 mm. LEAVES entire, bifid; sheath 3.5-7 cm, open, with scattered scales (denser distally), with fibrous margins; petiole 2-21 cm, 1-1.5 mm in diam., with scattered scales; lamina entire, 17-26 cm long, shiny dark green; midrib 5-7.5 cm, lobes 12-19 x 2.3-3.5 cm, main veins 5-6, with scattered scales on the major and minor veins in young leaves, but glabrescent, apex narrowly dentate with 2-3 teeth, sometimes looking acute. INFLORESCENCE unbranched; peduncle 10-16 cm long, blackish with dense pubescence; prophyll 4-12.5 cm long; peduncular bract apex to 10-20 cm from the base of the peduncle (insertion point not known); rachilla 5-15 cm long, 1-2 mm in diam., with scattered reddish scales; triads distant. STAMINATE FLOWERS with sepals 1.2-1.9 x 1.4-1.8 mm, ciliolate, dotted; petals 1.6-2.8 x 1.2-1.6 mm; stamens 6, uniseriate, filaments 0.5-1.3 mm, connate for 0.2 mm, anthers 1.3-1.5 x 0.4-0.5 mm, versatile; pistillode 0.8-1.2 x 0.2-0.3 mm. PISTILLATE FLOWERS with sepals 2-2.4 x 1.5-1.8 mm, ciliolate, slightly keeled; petals 2.6-2.8 x 1.3-1.4 mm; staminodes about 0.4 mm; gynoecium about 2.3 x 0.8 mm. FRUIT red, ellipsoid, 6-13 x 4-5 mm; endocarp fibrous, with almost free fibres. SEED with homogeneous endosperm. (J. Dransfield and H. Beentje. 1995)/Palmweb. Editing by edric.

It is probably most closely related to D. digitata. The leaf lobes are usually distinctly hooded at their tips. (J. Dransfield and H. Beentje. 1995)/Palmweb.


Dypsis betsimisarakae

Comments and Curiosities

A charming little palm, quite distinct by its leaf shape and open leaf sheaths. The name refers to the collector of the type, Bernier, about whom very little is known, except that he was French, and collected in Madagascar around 1834. (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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