Dypsis prestoniana Mystery

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The Dypsis prestoniana/Dypsis robusta Controversy

Jeff Marcus and D. robusta
J. Marcus & J. Dransfield 4 years later. Photo: Bo Lundkvist

Before sorting out the various palms that may or may not be Dypsis prestoniana, we must first sort out a confusing situation regarding the possible mis-identification of Dypsis robusta. It appears as if a palm widely known in Australia as "Maria's Stumpy," and later as Dypsis robusta, is not the real Dypsis robusta. It may in fact be Dypsis prestoniana.

Jeff Marcus has the palm that was used to describe Dypsis robusta. So we can at least be sure of that identification. At least one Australian seems to indicate that Jeff's type specimen came from the Australian trees, so is one in the same. However, the latest prevailing wisdom on PalmTalk seems to have drifted to the possibility that "Maria's Stumpy" (aka "Maria's Mystery") is Dypsis prestoniana. So this is the first order of business to clear up. Are the Mt Cootha trees the same as Jeff's Dypsis robusta type specimen? Or are they Dypsis prestoniana. You can add your thoughts (or read what others think ) by clicking the Discussion Tab above.

Note: Don't miss some valuable new info from Clayton York in post #4 and #16 in the discussion area.

Below is a nice array of some excellent pics from Tyrone of the Australian 'Maria's Stumpy' at Mt Cootha in Brisbane, along with two from Wal in Australia from Clayton York's and Phil Arrowsmith's.

Dypsis prestoniana Possibilities

The latest prevailing conjecture on PalmTalk seems to indicate that this species may include several palms we have been referring to by other names --- The OCWS (Orange Crownshaft White Stem) and Big Curly, both introduced by Mardy Darian before the Madagascar palms became common fare.

OCWS in California, Beginning to show the characteristic 'Orange Fuzz'
A California Grown Big Curly

Palms actually labeled as Dypsis prestoniana have been recently offered. Below is a sampling.

D. prestoniaina at Steve Huston's in Hawaii, Photo: Steve Huston
Slightly Older D. prestoniana, With thinning leaflets, At JD Andersen's in Hawaii. Photo: Steve Huston

And a few other candidates to be included in the group. What do you think? Click on the Discussion Tab and read or add more.

A D. prestoniana at JD Anderesen's
Bo's 'Mony Mony' - Thought to be 'Big Curly' but looking a lot like 'Maria's Stumpy' Photo: Bo Lundkvist

D. canaliculata at Bo's
Dypsis canaliculata at Bo's 09/12/09
Bill Sanford's Big Curly