Dypsis ramentacea J.Dransf., Palms Madagascar : 411 (1995)

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Introduction

  • This pretty little palm is known from a single collection from forest undergrowth in the lowlands near to Mananara Avaratra. The species name refers to the scales (ramenta) on the undersurface of the leaves. (J. Dransfield & H. Beentje, The Palms of Madagascar. 1995)A

Distribution

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

Discussion

  • Although no flowers have been available for study, the habit and inflorescence structure suggests that this is probably a species of Dypsis with three stamens and is certainly undescribed. Because it is so distinctive, we have named it D. ramentacea, even though staminate flowers that would suggest relationships are missing. The inflorescence is reminiscent of that of D. louvelii but the rachillae are distinctive in the presence of dark papillae. The undersurface of the leaf bears abundant ramenta, whence the specific epithet. Such ramenta are also present in D. mocquerysiana but this species has a very different erect inflorescence with many rachillae, and the leaves are usually epetiolate. There is also a superficial similarity with D. glabrescens but in the latter ramenta are absent, there is no petiole and the rachillae are shorter. (J. Dransfield & H. Beentje, The Palms of Madagascar. 1995)A

Diagnosis

  • Habitu inflorescentiaque D. louvelii superficialiter similis sed petiolo longiori, pagina inferiori laminae ramentas ferenti rachillis inflorescentiae papillosis differt (floribus ignotis). (J. Dransfield & H. Beentje, The Palms of Madagascar. 1995)A

Biology And Ecology

  • Lowland rain forest; 115 m. (J. Dransfield & H. Beentje, The Palms of Madagascar. 1995)A

Conservation

  • Critical; found in a tiny patch of forest near agricultural land; individuals seen less than twenty-five. (J. Dransfield & H. Beentje, The Palms of Madagascar. 1995)A

Common Name

  • Not recorded. (J. Dransfield & H. Beentje, The Palms of Madagascar. 1995)A

Uses

  • Not recorded. (J. Dransfield & H. Beentje, The Palms of Madagascar. 1995)A

Description

  • Slender solitary forest undergrowth palmlet to 70 cm tall. STEMS c. 4-5 mm diam., when dry, when fresh to 8 mm diam., internodes 4-12 mm long, sparsely and minutely scaly. LEAVES 9-10 in crown, apparently marcescent, crownshaft poorly defined; sheath 5-6 cm long, 1 cm diam., rather densely covered in caducous dark red-brown indumentum; auricles triangular, to 5 x 3 mm, membranous, soon tattering; petiole 9-15 cm long, c. 2 mm wide, ± triangular in section, bearing scattered dark brown scales; lamina entire 25-31 cm long, deeply bifid, the rachis 8-9.5 cm, the two lobes to 18-22 x 3.5 cm, diverging at an acute angle, the lobes shallowly toothed, adaxial lamina surface with sparse, minute brown punctiform scales, abaxial surface with conspicuous, abundant dark brown ramenta on all major veins and scattered red-brown punctiform scales. INFLORESCENCES 25-30 cm long, arching or semi-horizontal, branching to 1 order; peduncle to 21 cm, 1 mm diam., covered in discrete elevated dark brown scales; prophyll to 15 x 0.4 cm, membranous, straw-coloured, with sparse dark scales; peduncular bract exceeding the prophyll by 7 cm, similar to prophyll; rachis 5-6 cm; rachillae 8-10 in number, 2-3.5 cm long, c. 0.6 mm diam., with dark brown papillae, triads 1-3 mm distant. FLOWERS said to be red in bud, opening white, not available. Mature FRUIT bright red, ovoid, 13 x 8 mm; seed 1-2 x 6 mm; endosperm homogeneous, embryo lateral near the base. (J. Dransfield & H. Beentje, The Palms of Madagascar. 1995)A

Materials Examined

  • Mananara Avaratra: Antanambe, 1.5 hours walk upstream from first ferry north of Antanambe, Oct. 1991 (fr.), Beentje 4458 (Holotype K; isotypes BH, MO, P, TAN). (J. Dransfield & H. Beentje, The Palms of Madagascar. 1995)A

Bibliography

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