Dypsis caudata

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Dypsis (DIP-sis)
caudata (kaw-DAHT-ah)
GBPIX photo 535593oliver.jpg
La Reunion Island, photo by "Olivier Reilhes"
Scientific Classification
Genus: Dypsis (DIP-sis)
caudata (kaw-DAHT-ah)
None set.
Native Continent
Habit: Clustering
Leaf type: Pinnate
Survivability index
Common names

Habitat and Distribution

Endemic to Madagascar. Masoala Peninsula, known from a single site. Lowland rain forest;
Antalavia, Madagascar, photo by Dr. John Dransfield, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew/Palmweb.
steep slope or valley bottom; alt. 50-300 m.


Clustering palm. STEMS 1-3 m, 0.5-1.5 cm diam.; internodes 1-6 cm, green when young, later blackish, distally with dark scales; crownshaft indistinct. LEAVES 6-11 in the crown; sheath about 10 cm long, pale green with dense dark scales or later with scattered scales; petiole 6-20 cm long, 2-3 mm in diam., rusty-scaly, becoming more glabrous; rachis 25-46 cm long, in mid-leaf 2-2.5 mm wide, rusty-scaly; leaflets 11-15 on each side of the rachis, in groups of 2-4, group interval 4-7 cm, proximal 8-10 x 0.5-1.5 cm, median 8-14 x 1.5-2.2 cm, distal 6-8 x 1-2.2 cm, narrowly obovate, with abrupt and pendulous drip-tips 2-4 cm long, main vein 1, with scattered scales on the minor veins and when young with bands of scales on the adaxial midrib, and on the margins (especially on the distal margin), distal pair joined for < 1 cm, dentate over about 10 mm. INFLORESCENCE branched to 1 order, custard orange-yellow; peduncle about 31 cm long, about 1.5 mm in diam., scaly; prophyll 19-29 cm long, 4-7 mm wide, opening in the distal 1 cm only, with scattered scales; peduncular bract inserted at c. 16 cm from the base of the peduncle, about 11 cm long; non-tubular peduncular bract 2-4 mm long; rachis about 7 cm long, with about 11 branches; rachillae orange, 4-5.5 cm long, about 1 mm in diam., minutely puberulous and scaly. STAMINATE FLOWERS with sepals 0.7-0.8 x 0.7-0.8 mm; petals orange, 1.5-1.7 x 1.4-1.5 mm; stamens 6, biseriate (offset 0.2 mm), filaments 0.6-0.8 mm, thin; anthers 1-1.2 x 0.7 mm; pistillode about 0.8 x 0.3-0.4 mm. PISTILLATE FLOWERS with sepals 0.7-0.8 x 0.6-1 mm; petals orange, 2.2-2.3 x 1.5-2.4 mm; staminodes 6, about 0.4 mm; pistil about 2.2 x 1.5 mm. FRUIT orange, 8-11 x 3.5-5 mm. SEED about 7 x 3.5 mm, with homogeneous endosperm. (J. Dransfield and H. Beentje. 1995)/Palmweb. Editing by edric.

Probably related to D. linearis but very distinct in its leaflets with their long drip-tips. (J. Dransfield and H. Beentje. 1995)/Palmweb.


Cold Hardiness Zone: 10a

Comments and Curiosities

A very distinctive species with its long-acuminate, even caudate leaflet tips (hence the name), which are pendulous at almost right angles to the main part of the leaf. The custard yellow flowers are particularly attractive.

Conservation: Critical. Only known from a single site, in an unprotected area. Numbers are thought to be low.

A small, clustering, Chamaedorea-like palm native to the Masoala Peninsula in northeastern Madagascar, where it grows in lowland rainforest. Its thin stems can reach to about 3 m (10 ft.) tall. The glossy green leaflets have long, pendulous tips that give the palm a very special look. (RPS.com).

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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