Dypsis perrieri (Jum.) Beentje & J.Dransf., Palms Madagascar : 351 (1995)

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  • D. perrieri is a rather massive stocky, litter-trapping palm of the lower strata of rain forest. In habit it is reminiscent of other litter-trapping species such as Masoala madagascariensis, Ravenea albicans, and Dypsis marojejyi, having a rather short stem and large leaves that do not fall neatly from the stem. It is easily distinguished when in flower because of the large torpedo-like peduncular bract, densely covered in thick red tomentum. In shape this bract is very reminiscent of that of Beccariophoenix madagascariensis, but the flowers, fruit and thick tomentum are very different. Found on Marojejy and around the bay of Antongil, this species has recently been found near Antanambe, south of Mananara Avaratra.The name refers to the collector of the type, and of many other exciting palms, Joseph Marie Henry Alfred Perrier de la Bâthie (1873-1958), whose many excellent collections have given the world a wealth of information on many common, rare, and several now possibly extinct species. (J. Dransfield & H. Beentje, The Palms of Madagascar. 1995)A


Map uses TDWG level 3 distributions (http://www.nhm.ac.uk/hosted_sites/tdwg/geogrphy.html)
Madagascarpresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Marojejy, Masoala and Mananara Avaratra. (J. Dransfield & H. Beentje, The Palms of Madagascar. 1995)A


  • Jumelle (1928b) described this as a new genus, based on the sagittate anthers and the very fibrous endocarp of the fruit. On examining the type the first character is not correct - the locules are parallel. The second character is more difficult to evaluate, since there are no fruits present in the type. The types of C. auriculatus and C. ruber are clearly conspecific; the fruit mentioned in the protologue of Chrysalidocarpus auriculatus are of doubtful provenance - they have homogeneous endosperm, so they are unlikely to belong to D. perrieri. These fruits were the reason why the taxon was included in Chrysalidocarpus; but they are not present on the P sheets of this number. (J. Dransfield & H. Beentje, The Palms of Madagascar. 1995)A

Biology And Ecology

  • Moist forest, on steep slopes, near waterfalls on rocks or in valley bottoms; 150-800 m. (J. Dransfield & H. Beentje, The Palms of Madagascar. 1995)A


  • Vulnerable. Despite its fairly large distribution area, this species is not common in any of its sites; the fact that the palmheart is eaten is a contributing factor to its status. (J. Dransfield & H. Beentje, The Palms of Madagascar. 1995)A

Common Name

  • Besofina (Betsimisaraka, meaning big ears, because of the large sheath auricles); Menamosona (Betsimisaraka, meaning red back, because of the red tomentum on the sheath and bracts), Kase. (J. Dransfield & H. Beentje, The Palms of Madagascar. 1995)A


  • Good palm-heart. (J. Dransfield & H. Beentje, The Palms of Madagascar. 1995)A


  • Massive, squat solitary palm. TRUNK 2-8 m high, 20-30 cm diam., near the crown c. 12 cm diam. Trunk with marcescent leaves and persistent bases of leaf sheaths; internodes c. 4 cm; nodal scars dotted with fibre remains, c. 2 cm wide. Base of crown litter-accu-mulating. LEAVES 12-20 in the crown, porrect; sheath c. 1 m long, abaxially densely reddish-tomentose to floccose, turning fibrous and desintegrating with age, with auricles 3-12 cm long; apparent petiole 40-160 cm long, proximally c. 5 x 2.5 cm diam., distally 3-3.5 x 2-2.7 cm, the margins often with a slight wing formed by the rein of the proximal leaflets, deeply channelled with sharp margins, abaxially densely reddish-tomentose to reddish-brown scaly, glabrescent, dark green under the tomentum; rachis c. 3-3.5 m long, proximally channelled, in mid-leaf 1.3-1.8 x 2.3 cm diam., distally keeled, with patches of pale white, pale brown or dark red tomentum of peltate laciniate scales; leaflets 45-50 on each side of the rachis, regular, rigid and plicate, adaxially dark green, abaxially bright green, the proximal 80-148 x 1.2-3.4 cm, the most proximal ones inserted at different levels, median 69-107 x 3-5.5 cm (interval [0.5 -] 4-6.5 cm), distal 21- 60 x 1-3 cm, the distal pair joined for 3-6 cm, main veins 3-7, apices acuminate and unequally bifid, with scattered minute scales on the minor veins, occasionally with large brown or red ramenta 5-15 mm long on the abaxial midrib, once (in the type) with dense silvery hairs on the abaxial midrib. INFLORESCENCE interfoliar to infrafoliar, branched to 2 or 3 orders, spreading to pendulous, to 2 x 1.5 m; peduncle 57->100 cm long, proximally 8-9 x 2.5 cm, distally c. 5.5 x 3.5 cm, glabrous in young fruit; prophyll erect, 40-60 cm long, c. 5.5 cm wide, borne at c. 3 cm above the base of the peduncle, rufous brown, sometimes rotting away early; peduncular bract inserted at c. 8 cm from the base of the peduncle, circumscissile and carried upwards by the lengthening inflorescence, woody, 80-150 cm long, 3.5-4 cm diam., with a 9-10 cm long beak, densely reddish tomentose, splitting over its whole length except for the distal 16-20 cm; non-tubular peduncular bracts in the distal part of the peduncle, 4-5 x 2 cm; rachis 30-40 cm long, glabrous, with 12-25 branched and 10 unbranched first order branches, the proximal of these with a rachis to 36 cm long, up to 2.2 x 1.1 cm diam. proximally, and with up to 16 second order branches; rachillae spreading or pendulous, 15-50 cm long and 2-6 mm diam.; triads distant, in slight pits, with a narrow, obtuse rachilla bract. STAMINATE FLOWERS cream, with sepals 1.5-3 x 1.6-3.2 mm, the outermost smallest, proximally gibbous, keeled, ovate, rounded, ciliolate; petals 4-5.2 x 2.8-3.8 mm, elliptic, acute; stamens 6, 2-seriate, the antepetalous more adaxial and inserted slightly higher up, filaments 1.3-2 mm long with slightly triangular bases, anthers 2.3-3.5 x 1-1.6 mm, dorsifixed, versatile, the locules slightly divergent proximally and obtuse or apiculate, slightly unequal, with a wide (-0.8 mm) dark-coloured connective; pistillode conical, 1-1.4 x 0.5-1.1 mm. PISTILLATE FLOWERS with sepals 2.2-4 x 4.5-6.5 mm, concave and enveloping through up to 230°, broadly elliptic, rounded with a fleshy, solid abaxial bulge, ciliolate; petals 5-7.5 x 5-8 mm, concave and enveloping to c. 270°, in fruit 9.7-11 mm wide, with membranous margins, broadly elliptic; staminodes 6, flat, triangular, obtuse, 0.8-1.4 mm high; gynoecium asymmetrical, 3.5-4.5 mm x 2.8-4 mm. FRUIT ellipsoid, dull greenish brown, 15-19 x 12-16 mm, rounded or shortly stalked at the base, rounded at the apex; mesocarp up to 2 mm thick; endocarp very fibrous, with few anastomizations. SEED slightly obovoid or ellipsoid, 14-16 x 11-12 mm, pointed at the base, rounded at the apex, with a subbasal depression corresponding to the embryo; endosperm ruminate, with the intrusions dense, irregular, up to 1.3 mm thick but usually c. 0.3 mm thick and up to 5.5 mm deep. (J. Dransfield & H. Beentje, The Palms of Madagascar. 1995)A

Materials Examined

  • Andapa: Marojejy, Dec. 1972 (bud), Guillaumet 4202 (TAN); idem, NW of Mandena, Oct. 1988 (fl.), Miller et al. 3435 (K, MO, P, TAN); idem, N of Mandena, Nov. 1989 (fl., fr.), Dransfield et al. JD6749 (K, P, TAN). Antalaha: Marambo, Oct. 1912 (bud), Perrier 11942 (P, type of C. auriculatus); Masoala Peninsula, without date (fl.), Perrier 11941 (P, type of Chrysalidocarpus ruber). Maroantsetra: Antalavia, Feb. 1988 (bud), Dransfield et al. JD6475 (K, P, TAN); between Maroantsetra and Mananara, without date (fl.), Perrier 11946 (Holotype P). (J. Dransfield & H. Beentje, The Palms of Madagascar. 1995)A


A. J. Dransfield & H. Beentje, The Palms of Madagascar. 1995
B. World Checklist of Arecaceae