Ravenea hildebrandtii H.Wendl. ex C.D.Bouché, Monatsschr. Vereines Beförd. Gartenbaues Königl. Preuss. Staaten 21: 324 (1878)

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  • One of the smallest Ravenea species. In Victorian times this was a popular species for indoor cultivation in Europe. The epithet honours the collector of the type, J.M. Hildebrandt (1847-1881). (Dransfield, J. & Beentje, H. 1995: The Palms of Madagascar)A


Map uses TDWG level 3 distributions (https://github.com/tdwg/wgsrpd)
Comoros present (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Comoro Islands: Grand Comore, Moheli, Anjouan. (Dransfield, J. & Beentje, H. 1995: The Palms of Madagascar)A

Biology And Ecology

  • Moist forest at altitudes of 600-900 m. Once reported from riverine forest at this altitude. (Dransfield, J. & Beentje, H. 1995: The Palms of Madagascar)A


  • ? Endangered. All forest in the Comoro Islands is under severe threat. This species has not been collected for a long time. (Dransfield, J. & Beentje, H. 1995: The Palms of Madagascar)A

Common Name

  • Inazi (fide St John) which sounds suspiciously like Mnazi, the Swahili name for coconut. (Dransfield, J. & Beentje, H. 1995: The Palms of Madagascar)A


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


  • Slender undergrowth palm, sometimes flowering when almost acaulescent. TRUNK 1-6 (-12) m, usually less than 4 m, 5-6 cm diam. Trunk swollen at base, to 10 cm diam.; internodes short, hardly visible in older stems; bark grey-brown, smooth, in older trees somewhat fissured longitudinally. LEAVES 12-25 in the crown, arching; sheath c. 14.5 x 5 cm, the margins sparsely or hardly fibrous, densely tomentous abaxially, the tomentum white, later turning pale brown; petiole 28-50 cm long, 0.7-1 cm wide proximally, 6-11 mm distally, adaxially deeply channelled, glabrous, abaxially rounded and densely brown-tomentose or short-pubescent, with sharp edges; rachis 48-99 cm long, in mid-leaf 5-7 mm wide, adaxially shallowly grooved proximally, changing to keeled (keel to 5 mm wide) to angled distally, laterally grooved, sparsely tomentose or pubescent; leaflets on opposite sides of the rachis probably at an angle of 90° with each other, 20-43 on each side of the rachis, dark olive green on both surfaces, linear, acuminate, the basal ones 8-28 x 0.2-1.2 cm, the median ones 27-45.5 x 1-2 cm (interval 2-3.2 cm), the distal ones 7.5-37 x 0.7-1.9 cm, the distal pair sometimes slightly connate at the base, midrib with few to many small, pale, tattered, rounded ramenta abaxially along its whole length (always?), main veins faint, 2-4. STAMINATE INFLORESCENCES solitary (though St.John 26543 states "2 per axil"), branched to 1 order (at the base to 2 orders in St.John 26543); peduncle very slender, 17-35 cm long, 2-4 mm diam. both proximally and distally, rounded in cross-section, tomentose, glabrescent; prophyll 5-7.5 Ravenea hildebrandtii, in cultivation, Fairchild Tropical Garden (Photo: Scott Zona). x 1-1.7 cm, rounded at apex, membranous, tending to tatter irregularly, abaxially with scattered soft brown tomentum; peduncular bracts c. 10.5 cm, 20.5 cm, c.57 cm, 57-60 x 2 cm (all measured from base of peduncle), the proximal pair membranous; distal pair distally ± keeled, thick, coriaceous to almost woody, adaxially glabrous, abaxially densely pale grey to pale brown tomentose; non-tubular peduncular bracts 0.9-4 x 0.15-0.3 cm; rachis 10-34 cm, with 33-45 rather crowded, spirally arranged, slender rachillae; rachis bracts 10-45 x 2-3 mm; rachillae 2.4-10 cm long, 0.7-1.2 mm diam., bearing spiral or subdistichous solitary flowers; pedicels 0.25-0.75 mm long. STAMINATE FLOWERS 3-5 mm long, dull white, slightly fragrant; calyx connate for 0.5 mm, with 3 triangular, acute or mucronate lobes to 1-1.3 x 1 mm; petals 3.5-4.6 x 1.5-1.7 mm, joined only at the very base, acute or acuminate, 3veined; stamens 6, with short filaments, these fleshy, c. 0.5 mm long, anthers elongate, 2.0-2.25 x 0.3-0.7 mm; pistillode conspicuous, narrowly pyramidal, 1.5 x 0.4 mm. PISTILLATE INFLORESCENCE solitary (though St.John 26544 states "2 per axil"), branched to 1 order; peduncle 65-136 cm (Humblot 1395 states 300 cm) long, slightly flattened, 4-6 x 3.5 mm across proximally, distally 3-4 mm, tomentose but glabrescent; prophyll c. 9 cm long; peduncular bracts like those of the staminate inflorescence, c. 12 cm, 26-33 cm, 32-47 cm and 47 cm (all measured from base of peduncle), and more coriaceous or woody; rachis 17-22 cm, glabrous, with 19-31 branches; rachis bracts 5-25 x 1-2.5 mm; rachillae 2.5-13.5 cm long, 1-1.2 mm across, with spaced flowers; pedicel 0.5-1.5 mm. PISTILLATE FLOWERS with the calyx connate for c. 0.5 mm, with 3 short to long, acuminate, triangular lobes to 1.5 mm; petals 3, free, 2.5-2.6 x 0.5-1 mm, 3-veined, eventually disintegrating leaving the veins free; staminodes 6, filaments very slender, flattened, the anthers sagittate, flattened, empty; ovary flask-shaped, 3 x 1 mm; stigmas 3, short, recurved. FRUIT ellipsoid or broadly ovoid, 9-10 x 5-8 mm, one-seeded, stigmatic remains lateral near the base; epicarp yellow, drying wrinkled, mesocarp apparently thin. SEED rounded, c. 5 mm diam.; seed-coat brown, very thin. (Dransfield, J. & Beentje, H. 1995: The Palms of Madagascar)A

Materials Examined

  • Grand Comore: near Maoueni, La Grille, Dec. 1967 (stam.), Bernardi 11646 (K, P); Charboni-La Grille, Aug.1961 (stam.), St. John 26543 (K); and August 1961 (fr.), St. John 26544 (BH, K); Combani forest, Nov. 1884 (stam.), Humblot 1395 (P); "on high mountains", April 1884 (stam.), Humblot 1608 (P). Moheli: Mironjani, Nov. 1968 (fr.), Schlieben 11214 (P). Anjouan: March 1877 (stam.), Bewsher 34 (P); and April 1861 (fr.), Kirk s.n. (K) Without locality: (stam.), Humblot 395 (K, P). (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