Ravenea xerophila Jum., Ann. Inst. Bot.-Géol. Colon. Marseille , V, 1(1): 28 (1933)

Primary tabs




Map uses TDWG level 3 distributions (http://www.nhm.ac.uk/hosted_sites/tdwg/geogrphy.html)
Madagascarpresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
S Madagascar, between Ampanihy and the Ampingaratra Mts. (J. Dransfield & H. Beentje, The Palms of Madagascar. 1995)A


  • The Humbert collections are from a different habitat than the other collections (i.e. dry forest) and, in some instances, have larger leaflets, longer rachillae and smaller fruits. The protologue mentions an epi- phytic orchid found associated with this palm; HB believes the same orchid grows in the population he visited, where it seemed restricted to the leaf sheaths of this palm. It is probably a species of Cymbidiella (D. Du Puy, pers. comm.) (J. Dransfield & H. Beentje, The Palms of Madagascar. 1995)A

Biology And Ecology


Common Name



  • Solitary medium-sized palm. TRUNK 1.5-8 m, 13-30 cm diam., widened at the very base; distal half of trunk (or in smaller trees the entire trunk) covered in densely packed sheath remnants; near crown c. 10 cm diam.; bark brown; internodes 2.5-8 cm; nodal scars 0.5-1 cm, occasionally with tattered sheath remnants appearing as threads; wood hard; trunk sometimes producing a yellow latex-like substance when slashed. LEAVES (11-) 18-22 per crown, glaucous, gracefully arching, with stiff segments, the old leaves marcescent; sheath 36-55 x 13-20 cm, white- to dark brown tomentose, the tomentum quickly deciduous, the distal part waxy-white; petiole 22-60 cm long, proximally 2.8-6 x 2.0-3.5 cm, distally 1.4-3.0 x 1.4-2 cm, slightly channelled adaxially, with rather sharp edges, proximally red-brown tomentose, distally glabrous and yellow or with whitish bloom when dry, abaxially strongly convex; rachis 1-2.1 m long, in mid-leaf 0.9-2 x 0.8-1.6 cm, pale green with white bloom; leaflets pale green, stiff, coriaceous, the leaflets on opposite sides of the rachis at an angle of 90° with each other, slightly glaucous, acuminate, 47-55 on each side of the rachis, regular, coriaceous, glaucous, the proximal ones 33-110 x 0.3-1.5 cm, median 43-64 (94) x 1.3-2.4 cm (interval 3.5-4 cm), distal 11-44 x 0.3-1.3 cm, secondary veins very visible, tertiary veins indistinct, ramenta red-brown or grey, elongate, 1-2 (-3) near the base of lower leaflets, to large patches of dense ramenta in the proximal third of the midrib, upper 12 pairs without ramenta. STAMINATE INFLORESCENCE solitary, 55-58 cm, branched to 1 order; peduncle 15-19 (or more) cm, distally 5 x 3 mm across; prophyll not seen; peduncular bracts seen 31 cm, 41-62 cm, 44-62 cm; rachis 29-40 cm, with c. 100 branches; rachillae 1.5-7.5 cm, 0.6-1 mm across; pedicels c. 0.2 mm long, 0.7 mm across, with a 1-1.3 mm bracteole. STAMINATE FLOWERS with the calyx connate for 0.3 mm, free lobes 1.9 x 0.3 mm; petals 6-7 x 2.4-2.5 mm, connate by the fila-mental callus of the antesepalous stamens; stamens in 2 series, the antesepalous ones with a filamentous callus 0.6 x 0.4 mm, anthers 2 0.9 mm; antepetalous ones adnate to the petals for c. 1.1 mm, with no free filament, anthers 1.9-2 x 0.9 mm. PISTILLATE INFLORESCENCE solitary, 60-80 (or more) cm, branched to 1 order; peduncle 36-40 cm, proximally 8-13 mm across, 6-13 x 3-9 mm across distally, usually with whitish bloom, occasionally puberulous, glabrescent; prophyll not seen; peduncular bracts white to brown- pubescent, (in bud 15, 21, 20-32 x 1 cm, 31-40 x 1 cm), densely white-tomentose, more brown distally, the most distal one inserted at 21 cm from the base of the peduncle; rachis 20-35 cm long; rachillae porrect, 22-41 in number, 5-33 cm long, 1-2.2 mm across, with slightly bulbous base, proximally 4-7 x 2-5 mm, sinuous, more distally zigzag, with spaced flowers; pedicels 0.5-8 mm long. PISTILLATE FLOWERS with the calyx connate for 0.9-1.2 mm, with free lobes 1-1.3 mm; petals 4-6 x 1.5 mm, narrowly triangular, acute; staminodes 1.7 mm; ovary broadly ovoid to conical, 2 mm. FRUIT 15-22 x 17-27 mm, yellowish, 1-, 2- or 3-seeded, 20-26 mm across in 1seeded fruit, lobed in the more-seeded ones and then 22-23 x 22-34 mm; stigmatic remains subapical to lateral; endocarp slightly sclerified, loose and rather thin. SEED 16-18 x 12-18 mm, globose, hemispherical or in the shape of a third of a sphere, yellow-brown, with white endosperm with small central lacuna. (J. Dransfield & H. Beentje, The Palms of Madagascar. 1995)A

Materials Examined

  • Beloha?: between Menandra R. and Manambara R., June 1932 (pist.), Perrier 18653 (Holotype P). Amboasary Atsimo: Mandrare valley, Anadabolava, Dec. 1933 (fr.), Humbert 12491 (P); Mananara basin, W slopes of mountains between Andohahela and Elakelaka R., between Ampahiso and Mahamaro, early 1934 (fr.), Humbert 13698 (P, TAN); Manambolo valley, near Isomono, Dec. 1933 (fr.), Humbert 13017 (P). Ampanihy: 3 km W of Saboko near Tsimilofo, March 1988 (ster.), Willing 64 (K, MO); idem, Jan. 1990 (ster.), B. & D. Du Puy MB 575 (K, MO, P, TAN); idem, Feb. 1992 (ster.), Beentje 4590 (K, MO, TAN). Ambovombe: Andalatanosy, Dec. 1992 (dead stam.), Beentje & Andriampaniry 4751 (K, MO, P, TAN), (stam.) Beentje & Andriampaniry 4753 (K, TAN), (fr.) Beentje & Andriampaniry 4754 (K, TAN); 17 km N of Antanimora, March 1992 (dry fr.), Phillipson 3991 (TAN). Without locality, 1986 (seed only), Razafindratsira s.n. (K). (J. Dransfield & H. Beentje, The Palms of Madagascar. 1995)A