Dypsis ambositrae Beentje, Palms Madagascar : 195 (1995)

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  • A graceful palm of the high plateaux, which would probably do quite well in cultivation. We have looked for seeds but not found any, so far. This species will probably become extinct in the near future, unless some rapid action is taken to safeguard the remaining trees, now numbering less than ten. The name comes from the town which lies between the known populations. (Dransfield, J. & Beentje, H. 1995: Palms of Madagascar)A


Central Madagascar, near Ambositra. (Dransfield, J. & Beentje, H. 1995: Palms of Madagascar)A


  • With its grouped leaflets and glabrous inflorescences branched to 2 orders, this species is allied to D. oreophila and D. tsaratananensis, from which it is easily distinguishable by its larger leaf sheaths, longer leaves with larger leaflets, the much longer inflorescences, and the larger fruit. (Dransfield, J. & Beentje, H. 1995: Palms of Madagascar)A


  • D. oreophilae et D. tsaratananensi caulibus caespitosis foliolis aggregatis staminibus 6 affinis sed inflorescentia glabra vagina folii magna ceracea, foliis spiraliter dispositis foliolis magnis differt. (Dransfield, J. & Beentje, H. 1995: Palms of Madagascar)A

Biology And Ecology

  • ?Forest; among rocks or in riverine forest remnants, medium or steep mid slope; alt. 1300-1500 m. (Dransfield, J. & Beentje, H. 1995: Palms of Madagascar)A


  • Critical. In 1992 twelve trees of this species were known, all growing in or next to agricultural areas; in 1994, at least five of these had been cut down or burnt. (Dransfield, J. & Beentje, H. 1995: Palms of Madagascar)A

Common Name

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


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


  • Clustering palm in tufts of 2-3, sometimes (Beentje & Andriampaniry 4615) appearing solitary when in regularly burnt terrain. STEM 3-7 m tall, c. 12 cm diam.; internodes 10-20 cm, pale brown to grey (green and ringed when young), nodal scars 0.5 cm, grey; wood hard; base of stem slightly wider, with some surface roots; slight bulge in upper trunk in one older tree; crownshaft pale waxy grey-green. LEAVES 7-11, spiral, gracefully arching, with stiff leaflets; sheath 64-103 cm, pale green with a white bloom, ligules 2 cm; petiole 9-30 cm long, 3-6 x 2.2-4.5 cm diam., channelled with soft edges; rachis 2.1-2.8 m, in mid-leaf 2.2-3.5 cm wide, green; leaflets 74-84 on each side of the rachis, grouped only very slightly in 2s-5s, in one plane, the leaflets on opposite sides of the rachis at an angle of 90°, stiff with only the apices pendulous, apices attenuate, unequally bifid, the proximal 69-144 x 0.3-1.8 cm, (first interval c. 29 cm, more distal 3.5-9 cm), median 89-114 x 2.3-3 cm (leaflet interval 0.2-2 cm, group interval 2-3.5 cm), distal 18-58 x 0.8-2.5 cm, abaxially with distant tufts of pale grey ramenta over almost whole length of midrib, with scattered scales very faint to invisible, main veins faint, with only the midrib very prominent on the adaxial surface. INFLORESCENCE interfoliar, branched to 2 (3 in a few cases) orders, with the basal part within the closed sheath, the prophyll hidden and the peduncular bract spreading from the top of the sheath; peduncle 68-123 cm long, distally 9 x 5 cm diam., green, glabrous, curved outside the sheath; prophyll c. 91 cm, borne at c. 32 cm above the base of the peduncle, 11.5 cm wide, narrowly 2-winged; peduncular bract deciduous, about 80 cm, beaked (c. 5 cm) and closed distally, pale waxy grey, inserted c. 48 cm from the base of the peduncle; open peduncular bract 14 x 7 cm; rachis 84-102 cm, with 23-24 branched and 14-17 unbranched first order branches, in a few cases some of the proximal branches branched twice more, but not more than 3 in the entire inflorescence; all axes green with white bloom; first order branches proximally 2-3 x 0.5-1 cm; rachillae 14-32 cm, 3-4 mm diam., with flattish base and distant to rather dense triads, hardly sunken in slight pits with entire, obtuse or acute bracts. STAMINATE FLOWERS with sepals 2.2-2.5 x 1.6-2.2 mm, keeled, gibbous at the base, broadly ovate, obtuse, the margins membranous; petals connate for 0.2-0.5 mm, the free lobes 2.8-3 x 2.8-3.2 mm, ovate or elliptic, acute, sometimes with hooded apex; stamens 6, uniseriate, the filaments connate for 0.2-0.5 mm, 2.8-3.2 mm long, anthers 2.1-2.3 x 1 mm; pistillode 2.2-2.3 mm, columnar, 0.8-1 mm diam. PISTILLATE FLOWERS with sepals 2.4-3 x 3-4.1 mm, broadly ovate, rounded; petals hardly connate at the base, 3.5-4.1 x 4-5 mm, imbricate but for the apiculate apex, broadly ovate, concave; staminodes 6, 0.3-1.6 mm, narrow and flat; ovary asymmetrical, 2.7-4.8 x 2.8-4 mm, with indistinct pyramidal stigmas. FRUIT only known from carbonized remnants, c. 14 x 10.5 mm, possibly with fibrous endocarp, possibly with ruminate endosperm. (Dransfield, J. & Beentje, H. 1995: Palms of Madagascar)A

Materials Examined

  • Ambositra: 8km NNW of Ilaka Afovoany, July 1992 (fl.), Beentje & Andriampaniry 4742 (BH, K, MO, P, TAN; type); 45km S of Ambositra, March 1992 (old fr.), Beentje & Andriampaniry 4615 (K). (Dransfield, J. & Beentje, H. 1995: Palms of Madagascar)A


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