Dypsis catatiana (Baill.) Beentje & J.Dransf., Palms Madagascar : 308 (1995)

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  • This is the commonest small palm of the island, occurring in nearly all East Coast forests over a wide altitude range. It would make a good ornamental, with both the entire-leaved form and that with pinnate leaves being handsome, but will require a humid atmosphere. The name refers to the collector of the type, Louis Domingue Maria Catat (1859-?, who collected in Madagascar in 1889). (Dransfield, J. & Beentje, H. 1995: The Palms of Madagascar)A


Map uses TDWG level 3 distributions (https://github.com/tdwg/wgsrpd)
Madagascar present (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
NE and E Madagascar, between Tsaratanana and Andohahela. (Dransfield, J. & Beentje, H. 1995: The Palms of Madagascar)A


  • N. indivisa was put into synonymy by Jumelle (1929). Northern populations have generally longer peduncles and more glabrous rachillae, but not consistently so. Jacquemin H572J has the staminate and pistillate flowers at almost the same stage of development on a single rachilla, which is most unusual in Dypsis. Guillaumet 2161 has the stamens larger than in all other specimens studied; the measurements of this specimen are included in the description in brackets. (Dransfield, J. & Beentje, H. 1995: The Palms of Madagascar)A

Biology And Ecology

  • Lowland to montane rain forests to bamboo forest, slight to steep mid slope; (150-) 450-1900 m. (Dransfield, J. & Beentje, H. 1995: The Palms of Madagascar)A


  • Not threatened. Widespread and common. (Dransfield, J. & Beentje, H. 1995: The Palms of Madagascar)A

Common Name

  • Sinkaramboalavo (Betsimisaraka); Varaotra (Antanosy). (Dransfield, J. & Beentje, H. 1995: The Palms of Madagascar)A


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


  • Solitary small or dwarf palm (Schatz et al. 1694 is described as colony-forming, to 1.5 m; Perrier 12026 and 15985 are said to be clustering). STEM 0.2-1 m high, 4-9 mm diam.; internodes 0.5-3 cm, dark green, often with a vertical pale green stripe; nodal scars 0.1-0.2 cm. LEA V E S 4-10 in the crown, porrect to spreading; sheath 3-8 cm long, the outermost often open for c. 50 %, pale green with minute brown or reddish scales, in young leaves with clear triangular ligules 3-6 mm long on each side of the petiole; petiole absent or to 5 cm long, 1.5- 2.5 mm diam., slightly channelled adaxially; lamina entire or with (2-) 3-5 (-7) pairs of flat leaflets, shiny medium green, slightly paler on the abaxial surface, young leaves reddish; when entire shortly bifid, 14-32 cm long, the midrib 10-22 cm long, the lobes 5-12 x 2-5 cm, with 10-16 main veins, the base peduncle, 2.5-4 mm wide, opening only at the apex, pale brown cuneate, the apices truncate and dentate, 5-15 mm wide, and den with scattered scales; peduncular bract inserted at 4-14 from the base tate on the outside bend, with lines of small reddish and whitish of the peduncle, 3-9 cm long, 2.5-4 mm wide, opening only near scales on the abaxial midrib and veins; when pinnately divided the the apex, pale brown with scattered scales; second peduncular rachis 9-24 cm long with scattered reddish scales, the individual bract often present as a tiny, 1.5-4 mm long, briefly tubular bract leaflets flat and at intervals of 1-4.5 cm, the proximal 4-16 (-21) x situated just above the apex of the first peduncular bract; rachilla 0.5-3 cm and connate for 2-6 cm, the median 8-21 x 0.5-3.5 cm and 2-14 cm long, 1-2 mm diam., yellow-green to pale yellow, glabrous connate for 0.5-8 cm, both the proximal and the median sigmoid, or with dense minute scales all over, with 20-50 distant superficial with acuminate apices and 1-6 main veins, the distal leaflets 5-14 triads; flowers yellow-green. STAMINATE FLOWERS with imbricate x 1.4-3 cm, connate for 2-6 cm, with 5-6 main veins and the sepals 0.7-1 (-1.8) x 0.6-1 mm, keeled, with membranous margins; apices dentate on the outside bend, all leaflets with small scales on receptacle to 0.8 mm high; petals valvate, 1-2 x 0.7-1.3 mm, ellip veins. INFLORESCENCE interfoliar, erect or spreading and then por- tic, acute, striate; stamens 6, biseriate, didymous, the filaments rect, unbranched (a single bifurcation seen once in Guillaumet 2161, connate for 0.2-0.4 mm, the antepetalous 0.2-0.5 (-0.8) mm long and Perrier 11998 and Humbert 6891), 9-38 cm long; peduncle 6-27 narrow, the antesepalous 0.2-0.3 mm and broad, anthers with cm long, 1-2 mm diam., with dense minute scales but glabrescent; divergent locules, basifixed, 0.3-0.4 (-0.9) x 0.25-0.4 (-0.5) mm (with prophyll 5-15 cm long, borne at 3-6 cm above the base of the 2 sterile anthers in Jacquemin H572J; looking atrophied in JD6774); pistillode 0.2-0.3 mm. PISTILLATE FLOWERS with sepals imbricate, 0.8-1.3 x 0.6-1.3 mm, concave, keeled, non-ciliolate; petals proximally imbricate and membranous, distally valvate and fleshy, 1.2-1.8 x 0.9-1.5 mm, concave, elliptic, acute, striate; once (in Schatz 1694, a single flower) with a second series of smaller petals inside the outer series, 1.2 mm long; staminodes 6, 0.2-0.4 mm high, from thin to broad and tooth-shaped; ovary 0.8-1.4 x 0.8-1.3 mm, with a low pyramidal stigmatic bump. FRUIT deep shiny red, ellipsoid with a slightly pointed apex, 10-15 x 5-9.5 mm; mesocarp c. 2 mm thick, fleshy; endocarp with 22-30 free longitudinal fibres. SEED 8.5-10 x 4-5.5 mm, the base pointed, the apex obtuse; endosperm homogeneous. EOPHYLL bifid. (Dransfield, J. & Beentje, H. 1995: The Palms of Madagascar)A

Materials Examined

  • Bealanana: Tsaratanana area, Nov. 1912 (old infl.), Perrier 12026 (P); Bealanana to Mangindrano, July 1968 (fl.), Guillaumet 2161 (K, P, TAN). Andapa: Andapa to Doana, Andranotsara valley, Oct. 1967 (fl., fr.), Jacquemin H572J (P); Marojejy, E of Ambalamanasy II, Dec. 1948 (fl., y.fr.), Humbert & Capuron 22119 (K, P); Marojejy, Nov. 1972 (fl.), Guillaumet 4037 (TAN), and Dec. 1972 (fr.), Guillaumet 4204 (TAN); N slopes of Ambatosoratra, Feb. 1989 (fl.), Miller 4257 (TAN). Maroantsetra/ Antalaha: Masoala Peninsula, Oct. 1912 (bud), Perrier 11948 (P). Ambatondrazaka: Didy forest, Aug. 1889 (fr.), Catat 1732 (Holotype P); Zahamena, March 1941 (fr.), Decary 16532 (P). Moramanga: Analamazaotra, Sept. 1913 (old infl.), Perrier 11996 (P); idem, Dec. 1913 (fr.), Perrier 11995 (P); idem, July 1913 (bud), Perrier 11998 (P) and 11999 (P); idem, 1912 (fl.), Viguier & Humbert 1084 (P); idem, March 1991 (fr.), Beentje & Raharilala 4410 (BH, K, MO, TAN); Anranumenabe, Nov. 1986 (bud), Dransfield et al. JD6434 (K, TAN); Maromizaha, Feb. 1926 (fr.), Perrier 15985 (P); S of Moramanga, Feb. 1930 (fr.), Decary 7106 (P), 7161 (P). Anosibe an'Ala: Sandrangato, Dec. 1954 (fl.), Descoigns 122a (TAN). Ambositra: Ranomena, July 1992, Beentje 4739 (K, MO, TAN). Ifanadiana: Ranomafana, Jan. 1964 (fr.), Bosser 18916 (P); idem, Oct. 1987 (fl.), Schatz et al. 1693 (P, TAN) and 1694 (K, P, TAN); idem, March 1991 (fr.), Beentje 4428 (K, TAN), 4429 (BH, K, MO, P, TAN); idem, Vatoranana to Maharira, March 1992 (fr.), Malcomber & Rakoto 1326 (K, P). ?Ivohibe: Ihovika R. (dead infl.), Perrier 11974 (P, type of N. indivisa). Midongy Atsimo: 24 km S of Midongy, May 1992 (fr.), Beentje & Andriampaniry 4669 (K, MO, P, TAN). Befotaka: Mt. Papango, Dec. 1928 (fl.), Humbert 6891 (P, TAN). Tolanaro: summit of Marosoui (Marosohihy), Nov. 1928 (bud), Humbert 6624 (P, TAN); Bevava col to Bekoho summit, Nov. 1928 (bud), Humbert 6425bis (P); Enaniliha, Feb. 1966 (fr.), Rabevazaha RN 11521 (P); idem, Dec. 1959 (fl.), RN 10387 Rakotoson (K, P); between Saindro Col and Eminiminy, Feb. 1934 (fl., y.fr.), Humbert 13999 (K, P); N part of 'chaines anosyennes", Nov. 1971 (bud), Guillaumet s.n. (P, TAN); Andohahela, Col Tanatana, Dec. 1989 (fl.), Dransfield et al. JD6773 (K, P, TAN) and (fl.) JD6774 (K, TAN); Andohahela, March 1992 (fr.), Beentje & Andriampaniry 4594 (BH, K, MO, P, TAN); idem, Dec. 1992 (fr.), Beentje & Andriampaniry 4766 (TAN); idem, Itrotroky R, Feb. 1993 (fr.), Malcomber 2129 (K, P). Locality not found: Andrianony, Manjarivolo, Nov. 1970 (bud), Guillaumet 3511 (P, TAN). (Dransfield, J. & Beentje, H. 1995: The Palms of Madagascar)A


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