Dypsis tsaravoasira Beentje, Palms Madagascar : 154 (1995)

Primary tabs



  • A majestic, tristichous palm. The leaves are in three ranks. Although the material is incomplete, this isclearly a distinct taxon. The name derives from the local name. (Dransfield, J. & Beentje, H. 1995: The Palms of Madagascar)A


Only known from Marojejy, Maroantsetra and Mananara. (Dransfield, J. & Beentje, H. 1995: The Palms of Madagascar)A


  • This taxon resembles D. pilulifera but is distinct by the regular leaflets and the presence of scattered scales on the leaflets. (Dransfield, J. & Beentje, H. 1995: The Palms of Madagascar)A


  • inter species maximas tristichas foliolis regulariter dispositis inflorescentiis multo ramosis numero foliolorum infra glandibus dispersis tectorum distincta. (Dransfield, J. & Beentje, H. 1995: The Palms of Madagascar)A

Biology And Ecology

  • Open primary forest, steep upper slopes or ridgetop hollows; 275-1050 m. (Dransfield, J. & Beentje, H. 1995: The Palms of Madagascar)A


  • Endangered. Only known from three sites, two of which are under agricultural pressure; numbers within the populations are low, and we have seen less than thirty altogether. (Dransfield, J. & Beentje, H. 1995: The Palms of Madagascar)A

Common Name

  • Tsaravoasira, Hovotravavy, avaboko (Betsimisaraka). (Dransfield, J. & Beentje, H. 1995: The Palms of Madagascar)A


  • Palm-heart edible and highly esteemed. (Dransfield, J. & Beentje, H. 1995: The Palms of Madagascar)A


  • Solitary palm. TRUNK 10-25 m, 18-40 cm diam, prominently ringed above, scarcely below, 7.5-25 cm across near crown, internodes 5-15 cm, pale brown, distally green. Crownshaft green, swollen, 1-1.5 m. Wood pink. LEAVES 5-9, tristichous, porrect, stiff to arcuate; sheath 69-150 cm long, 12 cm across, green, distally densely scaly, with or without irregular ligule c. 22 mm; petiole 0-13 cm, distally 4.5 x 4 cm, densely scaly to glabrous; rachis strongly arcuate, 2-3.5 m long, glabrous or scaly, in mid-leaf 2-3 cm wide; leaflets 102-120 on each side of the rachis, regular, stiff to arcuate, dull dark green, the ones on opposite sides of the rachis in one plane or at a slight angle, less conspicuously so near the tip, mid-green, proximal leaflets 68-135 x 0.5-3.1 cm with conspicuous pendulous reins, median 81-127 x 2.2-3 cm (interval 1.5-3 cm), distal 10-48 x 0.2-2 cm, apex single or bifid, unequal, main vein 1, thickened margins, rest faint, scattered tufts of ramenta, and with a few scattered scales on the minor veins. INFLORESCENCE infrafoliar, branching to 3 orders, arching with pendulous rachillae; peduncle 22-26 cm, strongly curved, distally c. 4 x 3 cm, with scattered scales; prophyll 41-54 cm, borne at 6-9.5 cm above the base of the peduncle, c. 14 cm wide, persistent, pale brown abaxially, chestnut-red adaxially; peduncular bract inserted at c. 14 cm above the base of the peduncle, deciduous; rachis 47-50 cm, first order branches 14-20, 15 x 9 mm across, glabrous or with minute scattered scales, all axes green; rachillae cream-coloured, pendulous, 13-53 cm, 3-4 mm across, glabrous; triads spaced to dense, sunken; rachilla bract obtuse. STAMINATE FLOWERS only known in young bud. PISTILLATE FLOWERS in young fruit with sepals 2.8-3.7 x 4-5.2 mm, ciliolate; petals 4.5-5 x 5.6-6 mm; staminodes c. 1.2mm long. Young FRUIT 4-5 x 5-5.5 mm. (Dransfield, J. & Beentje, H. 1995: The Palms of Madagascar)A

Materials Examined

  • Andapa: Marojejy E, N of Mandena, Nov. 1989 (y.fr.), Dransfield et al. JD6760 (K, P, TAN). Maroantsetra, Sahavary, hills E of village, Andilampananina, Feb. 1988 (y.fr.), Dransfield et al. JD6463 (Holotype K; isotypes P, TAN); Antanambe, Oct. 1991, (dead infl.), Beentje & Andriampaniry 4467 (K, TAN).
    Allied Specimen: close, but with clear differences are two specimens from Andapa: Marojejy, Nov. 1984 (y.fr.), Dransfield et al. JD6762 (K, P, TAN); idem, S base of Mt. Beondroka, Oct. 1989 (dead infl.), Miller & Randrianasolo 4493 (K, P, TAN); local names: Voanioala, Lavaboko, Tsaravoasira. A solitary palm 15-20 m high, 15-20 cm diam., with 8-10 tristichous leaves; leaf sheath 62 cm, hardly scaly; petiole 0-5 cm; rachis c. 4 m with c. 70 leaflets on each side, the median 85-104 x 3.3-3.6 cm. Inflorescence branched to 2 orders; rachillae pink, 11-26 cm long, 3-4.5 mm diam., glabrous, with distant triads in slight pits. No flowers have been seen; fruit only seen when young. Similar is possibly Moore 9919 from Masoala: Ambohitralanana, April 1971 (fr.) with the leaf sheath c. 90 cm, petiole 45 cm, rachis 3.2 m, but this has interfoliar inflorescences with rachillae 19-29 cm and fruits 16-17 x 12-13 mm, with homogeneous endosperm; the leaves are said to be in five ranks. The local name is Buresy. (Dransfield, J. & Beentje, H. 1995: The Palms of Madagascar)A


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