Dypsis elegans Beentje, Palms Madagascar : 271 (1995)

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Introduction

  • The name has been chosen to reflect the great beau ty of this small understorey palm. It would make an exceptionally beautiful ornamental, but might be too choosy in its habitat requirements to live anywhere but a greenhouse. (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
Only known from Manombo forest. (J. Dransfield & H. Beentje, The Palms of Madagascar. 1995)A

Discussion

  • Distinct in its leaves with groups of regularly spaced narrow leaflets, and the short rachillae. Relationships are vague (also because of the lack of pistillate and fruiting material) but possibly with D. concinna. Very similar to this is a collection from Mahanoro: lower Mangoro basin, alt. 300 m, Oct. 1927 (bud), Perrier 18049 (P); which has a shorter sheath (7-10 cm), shorter petiole (3-5 cm), shorter rachis (20-30 cm) with 28- 32 leaflets which are smaller (4-7 x 0.6-0.9 cm); the inflorescence is branched to one order with, again, all parts shorter (peduncle 16 cm, prophyll 5.7 cm, rachis 5.8 cm, rachillae nine in number, 4.5-6.5 cm long); despite all these differences, we believe it is the same taxon; but the material is not enough to be certain. This locality appeared without natural vegetation when HB visited the area in 1991. (J. Dransfield & H. Beentje, The Palms of Madagascar. 1995)A

Diagnosis

  • foliis pinnis aggregatis sed in gregibus regulariter dispositis rachillis brevibus staminibus 6 distincta. (J. Dransfield & H. Beentje, The Palms of Madagascar. 1995)A

Biology And Ecology

  • Lowland rain forest, on well-drained rocky soil; c. 65 m. (J. Dransfield & H. Beentje, The Palms of Madagascar. 1995)A

Conservation

  • Critical. HB has seen less than ten individuals in a forest which is being destroyed by fire and timber-cutting. (J. Dransfield & H. Beentje, The Palms of Madagascar. 1995)A

Common Name

  • None recorded. (J. Dransfield & H. Beentje, The Palms of Madagascar. 1995)A

Uses

  • None recorded. (J. Dransfield & H. Beentje, The Palms of Madagascar. 1995)A

Description

  • Solitary or tufted palm. STEM(S) to 2 m tall, 1-2 cm diam.; internodes 4-6 cm, green, with dense scales distally. LEAVES c. 6 in the crown, pinnate, porrect and slightly arching; sheath 11-17 cm long, densely red-scaly, with sloping shoulders; petiole 9-14 cm long, 3-4 mm diam., densely scaly; rachis 50-68 cm long, in mid-leaf 2-3 mm wide, densely red-scaly; leaflets 41-65 on each side of the rachis, in groups of 4-5, group interval 3-4.5 cm, leaflet interval c. 5 mm, the proximal 3-5 x 0.1-0.3 cm, median 8-15 x 0.4-0.6 cm, distal 5-9 x 0.3-0.9 cm and connate for 0.5-1.5 cm, main vein 1 (in the distal pair 3-4), with some scales on midrib and especially on the margins but mainly glabrous, apices attenuate, in the distal pair dentate over a width of 2-4 mm. INFLORESCENCE interfoliar, branched to 2 orders; peduncle 33-36 cm long, 1.5-2 mm diam., densely scaly; prophyll 10-14 cm long, 3-5 mm wide, with scattered scales, open in the distal 2 cm; peduncular bract with its apex at 7-8 cm above the apex of the prophyll, open in the distal 2 cm, with scattered scales; rachis 10-14 cm long, with scattered scales, with 5-6 branched and 11- 12 unbranched first order branches, the most proximal of these with an axis of up to 2 cm and with up to 4 rachillae; rachillae 2.5-4.2 cm long, c. 1 mm diam., scaly, slightly recurved. STAMINATE FLOWERS yellow in bud, orange at anthesis; sepals 0.8-1 x 0.9-1.2 mm; petals 2- 2.1 x 1.1-1.2 mm; stamens 6, biseriate (offset 0.2-0.3 mm), filaments 0.8-1 mm and thin, anthers 1.3-1.4 x 0.5-0.6 mm, versatile; pistillode c. 0.8 x 0.5 mm, columnar. PISTILLATE FLOWERS unknown. FRUIT unknown. (J. Dransfield & H. Beentje, The Palms of Madagascar. 1995)A

Materials Examined

  • Farafangana: Manombo, Jan. 1993 (fl.), Beentje & Andriampaniry 4788 (Holotype K; isotype 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