Dypsis procera

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Dypsis (DIP-sis)
procera (proh-SAH-rah)
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Tampolo - Masoala - Madagascar (2016) - East Coast of Madagascar. Photo by "Olivier Reilhes".
Scientific Classification
Genus: Dypsis (DIP-sis)
procera (proh-SAH-rah)
None set.
Native Continent
Habit: Clustering, rarely solitary.
Leaf type: Entire bifid & 4-16 blades.
Survivability index
Common names

Habitat and Distribution

Endemic to Madagascar. Around the Bay of Antongil. Lowland rain forest, usually on flat land,
Tampolo - Masoala - Madagascar (2016) - East Coast of Madagascar. Photo by "Olivier Reilhes".
sometimes on slopes; alt. to 600 m.


Moderate-sized clustering (very rarely solitary) palm of forest undergrowth, tending to form diffuse colonies by few short stolons. STEMS erect, to 6 m tall, 1-2.5 cm in diam., internodes 2-10 cm long, when young green, with scattered caducous brown scales. LEAVES about 8 in the crown; leaf-sheaths forming a crownshaft; sheath 17-31 cm long, 1.5-2.5 cm in diam., pale green, covered in caducous red-brown scales, these frequently in irregular vertical patches about 3-22 x 1 mm, leaf sheath mouth with irregularly tattering ligule; petiole rarely very short (3-4 cm), usually 10-25 x 0.5-0.8 cm, bearing scattered, caducous red-brown scales; rachis 38-60 cm long (? rarely more); blade entire bifid, or irregularly divided into 2-8 narrow to broad leaflets; basal leaflets 43-80 x 2-15 cm, mid-leaf leaflets 25-50 x 1.2-8.5 cm, apical leaflets 23-55 x 1.5-15 cm; lamina surfaces bearing numerous minute punctiform scales along main and minor veins. INFLORESCENCE interfoliar, branched to 2 orders; peduncle 35-46 cm long, 0.5-0.7 cm in diam., brown scaly; prophyll 21-36 x 0.5-0.7 cm, borne 5-12 cm above the base of the peduncle, membranous, bearing caducous scales; peduncular bract, rarely preserved, usually abscising before expansion of rachillae from bud, borne at least 12 cm above prophyll, to 16 x 7 cm; rachis 14-35 cm long, scaly as the peduncle, bearing 8-13 first order branches, lower 2-6 branched; rachillae 10-18 in number, 15-50 cm long, 1.2 mm in diam., densely covered in redbrown branched trichomes, triads about 2 mm distant. STAMINATE FLOWERS about 2 x 1.3 mm; sepals rounded-triangular, 0.8 x 0.7 mm, keeled, glabrous; petals ± elliptic, valvate, striate, 2 x 1.4 mm; stamens 3, antesepalous, filaments 1.1 x 0.4 mm, strap-like, anthers sagittate to subpendulous, 0.9 x 0.5 mm; pistillode conical, to 3 mm. PISTILLATE FLOWERS in very young bud about 1 mm in diam., rounded; sepals broadly imbricate, 1 x 1.1 mm; petals triangular-rounded, striate, 1.1 x 0.5 mm; staminodes 3, minute, irregularly dentiform; immature ovary about 0.5 x 0.2 mm. Mature FRUIT unknown; immature fruit ellipsoid, 7 x 3 mm, green. SEED with homogeneous endosperm. (J. Dransfield and H. Beentje. 1995)/Palmweb. Editing by edric.


Growing Climate: -Easy to grow and very stunning palm. Fertilize once per year and mulch garden bed well. This Dypsis likes regular watering and will take small amount of full sunlight, but preferrers a shady position. Temperatures from 4.C to 35.C are recommended. Hardiness: USDA, zones 10A-11.

Comments and Curiosities

D. procera is an attractive palm of the undergrowth of the very humid forests that surround the Bay of Antongil. The leaf sheaths with their discrete patches of red-brown scales are distinctive. Leaf dissection varies greatly. There are some particularly beautiful forms with entire bifid leaves that would make splendid ornamentals. D. procera is cultivated in several Australian collections (and probably elsewhere), where it has been misidentified as D. hildebrandtii (see Stewart 1994, p. 97). The species name, procera, meaning very tall, or high, seems inappropriate for this undergrowth palm, but it is one of the taller of the palms that belong to Dypsis in the restricted sense, rather than the present broad sense. (J. Dransfield and H. Beentje. 1995)/Palmweb.

Conservation: Vulnerable. Restricted in distribution in an area where the forest is unprotected, and under some threat by shifting cultivations. (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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