Dypsis interrupta

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Dypsis (DIP-sis)
interrupta (in-TEHR-ruhp-tah)
P1010050 Dypsis interrupta.JPG
Madagascar. Photo by Phil Arrowsmith.
Scientific Classification
Genus: Dypsis (DIP-sis)
interrupta (in-TEHR-ruhp-tah)
None set.
Native Continent
Habit: Solitary
Leaf type: Pinnate
Survivability index
Common names

Habitat and Distribution

Madagascar. Ifanadiana area. Hill forest; alt. 510 m.
Ifarad, Madagascar. Photo by Dr. John Dransfield, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew/Palmweb.


Solitary palm of the forest undergrowth. STEMS to 3 m tall, about 12 mm in diam.; internodes 60-70 cm long. LEAVES 7 in the crown; sheaths forming a well defined crownshaft; sheath 19-20 cm long, 1.5 cm in diam., with sparse scattered dark brown scales; low auricles present but apparently soon tattering; petiole 9-12 cm long, about 4 x 2 mm in cross section, deeply channelled, rather densely covered in discrete dark brown scales; rachis 64-70 cm long, scaly as the petiole; leaflets 24-29 on each side of the rachis, all except the apical pair single-fold, linear, grouped in proximal part of the leaf, regularly arranged distally, regularly arranged within the groups, the leaflet series thus appearing interrupted rather than fascicled, mid-leaf leaflets 15-23 x 0.8-1.5 cm, apical pair slightly shorter, basalmost leaflets 6-8 x 0.4-0.8 cm, leaflet midrib prominent adaxially, texture membranous. INFLORESCENCE interfoliar, branched to 2 orders, arching with pendulous rachillae; peduncle 50 cm long, about 4 mm wide at the base, tapering to 2.5 mm wide, glabrous; prophyll inserted 14.5 cm above the base of the peduncles, 30 x 1.5 cm, membranous, striate, very sparsely scaly; peduncular bract inserted c. 20 cm above the prophyll, otherwise not known; rachis c. 30 cm long, glabrous; rachillae slender, about 20, 19-30 cm long, glabrous, about 1.5 mm in diam., triads about 3 mm apart, rachilla bract about 0.8 mm high, rounded, glabrous. FLOWERS very immature in available specimen. STAMINATE FLOWERS with 3 ? sagittate antesepalous stamens and a conical pistillode. FRUIT unknown. (J. Dransfield and H. Beentje. 1995)/Palmweb. Editing by edric.

This taxon, although known only from a single specimen, is so distinctive that we have considered it important to name it, even though several parts are not represented. Among the species of Dypsis with three sagittate antesepalous stamens and a conical pistillode, D. interrupta is immediately distinguishable by its numerous linear leaflets, arranged in an interrupted series on each side of the rachis. This is clearly a very beautiful species, and it would be desirable not only to recollect it to complete our understanding of it as a species, but also to introduce it into cultivation. It was found growing on a steep slope in open forest. (J. Dransfield and H. Beentje. 1995)/Palmweb.


Cold Hardiness Zone: 10a

Comments and Curiosities

A strikingly beautiful small palm of the forest undergrowth, known as yet from a single collection from the lowlands in the southeast of the island. The species name refers to the interrupted sequence of otherwise regularly arranged leaflets on each side of the rachis. (J. Dransfield and H. Beentje. 1995)/Palmweb.

Conservation: Critical. The extraordinary forests of Ambinanindrano are gradually being destroyed by shifting cultivation. (J. Dransfield and H. Beentje. 1995)/Palmweb.

A slender, solitary dwarf species, from forests in southeastern Madagascar that forms a thin, cane-like stem which holds a crown of elegantly arching leaves with grouped leaflets. Its habitat is critically endangered by clearing for agriculture. (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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