Chrysalidocarpus lanceolata

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"Ivovowo Palm"

lanceolata (lahn-seh-oh-LAH-tah)
At Daryl O'Connors, Gold Coast Hinterland, Queensland Australia. Photo by Wal.
Scientific Classification
Genus: Chrysalidocarpus
lanceolata (lahn-seh-oh-LAH-tah)
None set.
Native Continent
Habit: Clustering
Leaf type: Pinnate
Survivability index
Common names
Ivovowo Palm.

Habitat and Distribution

Endemic to the Comoro Islands: Grande Comore, Moheli. Mid-altitude
Gold Coast, Hinterland, Queensland, Australia. Photo by Daryl O'Connor.
rain forest; alt. 500-1000 m.


Clustering palm. STEMS 5-6 m high; nodal scars pronounced. LEAVES "somewhat plumose" (Hull); petiole distally 1.5-1.7 cm in diam., red- dish pubescent on both surfaces, channelled; rachis 1.8-1.9 m long, in mid-leaf 1-1.6 cm wide, keeled, densely scaly or with scattered pale scales; leaflets slightly irregular (interval in mid-leaf 1.5-5 cm), proximal 38-43 x 1-2.7 cm, median 30-48 x 3.5-7 cm, distal 4-24 x 0.7-3.8 cm, main veins 3-5, with very conspicuous thickened margins, with several large (0.5-1 cm long) pale-coloured laciniate ramenta on midrib and main veins proximally, and faint minute reddish scales in longitudinal lines on the main and minor veins on the type, but absent in modern collections, acuminate. INFLORESCENCE branched to 3 orders or more, about 60 cm long; rachis bract (one seen) 4.5 cm long, narrowly triangular; rachillae 13-24 cm long, 1.5-3 mm in diam., glabrous, with distant superficial triads. STAMINATE FLOWERS with sepals 1.2-1.4 x 1.4-1.6 mm; petals connate for 0.5 mm, free for 2.6-2.9 x 1.4-1.6 mm, spreading at full anthesis; stamens 6, uniseriate, filaments 1 (in closed flow-ers)-3 (in fully open flowers) mm long, narrowly cylindrical, anthers 1.4 x 0.5-0.6 mm; pistillode 1.6-1.7 mm high, 0.4-0.6 mm in diam. PISTILLATE FLOWERS not seen. FRUIT ellipsoid, 13-17 x 6-10 mm, with rounded apex; endocarp fibrous, with anastomizing fibres. SEED slightly obovoid with obtuse apex, (10-) 13-16 x 5-7 mm, with homogeneous endosperm. Affinities of this taxon are unclear. (J. Dransfield and H. Beentje. 1995)/Palmweb. Editing by edric.


Lightly shaded, well drained position. Cold sensitive. Cold Hardiness Zone: 10a+

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Comments and Curiosities

The shape of the leaflets are unusually broad for the genus Dypsis. (J. Dransfield and H. Beentje. 1995)/Palmweb.

D. lanceolata is another of the tiny handful of Malagasy palms actually native offshore, in this case the Comoro Islands. It is a clustering species reminiscent of D. cabadae, but with a notable difference: Its lanceolate leaflets are particularly broad for a Dypsis species. They have a tendency to attach to the rachis in multiple ranks, giving the frond a mildly plumose look. Stems reach 16 to 20 ft. in height, with a diameter of 3 to 4 in. A mature infructescence can carry thousands of slim, ellipsoid red fruits about ⅔ in. long. The IUCN Red List conservation status of D. lanceolata is Vulnerable, but said to need updating. (

A Chrysalidocarpus native to the Comoro Islands, which is somewhat similar to Chrysalidocarpus cabadae, but said to be simply 'even more beautiful'. John Dransfield and Henk Beentje in "The Palms of Madagascar" say "This would be a wonderful ornamental. The name refers to the leaflets which are unusually broad for a the genus Dypsis". suckering and growing to only about 6m (20ft) high, it would be suitable even for the small, warm temperate or tropical garden and would undoubtedly also make a great interior plant. Vulnerable in the wild, it may only survive in cultivation. (

External Links


Phonetic spelling of Latin names by edric. Edit by João Santos Costa

Special thanks to Geoff Stein, (Palmbob) for his hundreds of photos.

Special thanks to, 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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