Dypsis mananjarensis (Jum. & H.Perrier) Beentje & J.Dransf., Palms Madagascar : 163 (1995)

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  • A large and beautiful tristichous palm, in the horticultural world known as 'mealy bug', because of the prominent scales on the leaf sheath, petiole and rachis. These scales are white and waxy, with scalloped edges, and are unique within the genus. The scientific name comes from the fivondronana or 'county' of Mananjary, where the type was collected. (Dransfield, J. & Beentje, H. 1995: The Palms of Madagascar)A


East coast between Vatomandry and Tolanaro. (Dransfield, J. & Beentje, H. 1995: The Palms of Madagascar)A


  • Collections from several large populations in the Manakara area show that the variation within populations may range from almost regular leaflets in almost one plane to grouped and fanned leaflets (Perrier describes the leaflets of C. fibrosus as "non groupés mais non tous inserés sur un même plan"). The group interval of 11-17 cm in the type of C. mananjarensis is rather extreme, the norm being 1-6 cm; it is possible that the leaf parts in this type come from a leaf from a young plant. The protologue of C. mananjarensis states that the type is a robust palm with a short trunk 4-6 m high, and this is certainly the size of an young tree; all flowering or fruiting specimens we have observed had trunks over 6 m tall, and usually over 10 m.
    NOTE: within the enlarged genus Dypsis, the epithet fibrosa/um has been used earlier for Dictyosperma fibrosum = Vonitra fibrosa = Dypsis fibrosa.
    (Dransfield, J. & Beentje, H. 1995: The Palms of Madagascar)A

Biology And Ecology

  • Moist or dry forest (remnants), also ?rejuvenating in savoka; slight or steep mid slopes; alt. 30-200 m. (Dransfield, J. & Beentje, H. 1995: The Palms of Madagascar)A


  • Vulnerable. Though this species may be locally common, the total number HB has seen are only a few hundred. Over the whole distribution area the vegetation is being destroyed for agricultural land or by burning; the cutting for palm-heart targets this palm specifically. (Dransfield, J. & Beentje, H. 1995: The Palms of Madagascar)A

Common Name

  • Laafa, Lakatra (general palm names on East coast), Ovodaafa (Antaisaka). (Dransfield, J. & Beentje, H. 1995: The Palms of Madagascar)A


  • Good palm heart, and cut down for this; the rachis produces a fibre formerly much used by the Betsimisaraka. (Dransfield, J. & Beentje, H. 1995: The Palms of Madagascar)A


  • Solitary palm. TRUNK 6-25 m, cylindrical, 14-29 cm diam. (to 12 cm diam. near the crown), internodes 10-50 cm (near the crown to 5 cm), green, ringed, nodal scars white, 2-4 cm; wood very hard with red fibres. LEAVES tristichous, porrect to arching, 6-10 per crown; sheath 0.6-1.6 m long, a quarter to two-thirds open, whitish green to pale yellow-green to bright orange-yellow in recently exposed sheaths, with characteristic slighly sunken, white, waxy, large (4-12 x 2-3 mm) scales with scalloped edges, auricles c. 1 cm; petiole absent or up to 12 cm long, with scales as the sheath, 5-10 x 3-7 cm diam., deeply canaliculate with sharp edges; rachis 3-3.5 m long, in mid-leaf 2.5-4 cm wide, proximally canaliculate, more distally keeled, pale brown, with scales as the sheath; leaflets slightly irregular or in groups of 3-7, but always in several planes, arching, 121-149 on each side of the rachis, the group interval 1.5-17 cm, basal leaflets 35-150 (-300) x 0.8-2.8 cm, median 100-135 x 2.2-4.6 cm, distal 18-50 x 0.5-2.5 cm, acuminate, glabrous, waxy, main vein 1 with thickened margins. INFLORESCENCE infrafoliar, branched to 3 orders, arching and with pendulous rachillae; peduncle 18-40 cm long, 6-12 x 3.5-7 cm diam., pale green, glabrous; prophyll erect, 45-65 x 11-17 cm, clearly 2-winged, borne at 5-8 cm above the base of the peduncle; peduncular bract inserted at 15-18 cm above the base of the peduncle, deciduous, 80-120 x 10-20 cm, beaked for 6-10 cm, closed in the distal 15 cm, coriaceous, with a waxy bloom; non-tubular peduncular 8-29 x 4-7 cm; rachis 70-106 cm long, pale pastel green with 14-23 branched and 14-20 unbranched first order branches; rachillae whitish to pale pastel green, 17-58 cm long, 3-5 mm diam. STAMINATE FLOWERS with sepals 1.3-1.6 x 1.2-1.5 mm, red-spotted; petals 2-2.2 x 1.4-1.5 mm; stamens 6, uniseriate, filaments 1.7-2 mm, anthers 1-1.3 x 0.6-0.7 mm, versatile; pistillode 1.5-1.7 x 0.4-0.7 mm. PISTILLATE FLOWERS with sepals 1.5-2 x 1.6-2.3 mm, petals 2.2-2.4 x 1.8-2.3 mm; staminodes 0.2-0.4 mm; gynoecium 2-3.5 x 2-4 mm. FRUIT globose or nearly so, 4-6 mm, with fibrous endocarp, the fibres slightly anastomosing. SEED globose, 3.5-4.5 mm, with sub-basal depression, rounded at the base, apiculate or rounded at the apex, with homogeneous endosperm (occasionally with undulate edges). (Dransfield, J. & Beentje, H. 1995: The Palms of Madagascar)A

Materials Examined

  • Vatomandry: 6 km S of Ambalatenina, Oct. 1991 (y. fr.), Beentje 4506 (BH, K, MO, P, TAN); Levazy, SW of Vatomandry, Dec. 1921 (bud, fr.), Perrier 14158 (P, type of D. fibrosa). Ifanadiana: Ambinanindrano, Jan. 1993 (stam.fl.), Beentje & Andriampaniry 4798 (K). Mananjary: Mt Vatovavy, Oct. 1911 (bud, fr.), Perrier 12073 (P, type of D. mananjarensis). Manakara: Amby, July 1992 (y.fr.), Beentje & Beentje 4727 (BH, K, MO, P, TAN); idem, July 1992 (stam.fl.), Beentje 4728 (K); idem, Jan. 1993 (fr.), Beentje & Andriampaniry 4796 (K, TAN). Farafangana: Manombo, Nov. 1991 (bud), Beentje 4521 (BH, K, MO, P, TAN). Tolanaro: 6km N of Mandromodromotra, March 1992 (y.fr.), Beentje & Andriampaniry 4613 (K, TAN). (Dransfield, J. & Beentje, H. 1995: The Palms of Madagascar)A


    A. Dransfield, J. & Beentje, H. 1995: The Palms of Madagascar