Dypsis bejofo Beentje, Palms Madagascar : 146 (1995)

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  • One of the most impressive palms of Madagascar. The massive trunk and enormous leaves, sometimes arranged in three rows in an arching crown, give this tree a majestic appearance. This would be a spectac ular ornamental tree for grand landscaping in the tropics. Seeds have been widely distributed (but see note below). The local name has supplied us with the specific epithet. (Dransfield, J. & Beentje, H. 1995: The Palms of Madagascar)A


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


  • When this tree is sterile it resembles D. pilulifera, which is less massive and has less strikingly
    plumose leaves. It is probably close to D. hovomantsina and D. canaliculata. The seed is most unusual and distinctive and until recently we thought of a form unique within the genus. However, in 1994 JD saw similar, but smaller, seed with entirely different seedlings in cultivation in Australia, seed source unknown, but 'from Madagascar'. (Dransfield, J. & Beentje, H. 1995: The Palms of Madagascar)A


  • palma excelsa foliis maximis foliolis aggregatis inflorescentia curta multo ramosa seminibus profunde canaliculatis distincta. (Dransfield, J. & Beentje, H. 1995: The Palms of Madagascar)A

Biology And Ecology

  • Moist lowland forest; steep slope; 200-400 m. (Dransfield, J. & Beentje, H. 1995: The Palms of Madagascar)A


  • Endangered. Only known from two sites, where numbers are low. (Dransfield, J. & Beentje, H. 1995: The Palms of Madagascar)A

Common Name

  • Bejofo, Hovotraomby (Betsimisaraka). (Dransfield, J. & Beentje, H. 1995: The Palms of Madagascar)A


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


  • Solitary canopy palm. TRUNK 15-25 m high, 25-40 cm diam., near the crown c. 20 cm diam.; internodes 20-35 cm, pale reddish brown, near the crown 2-10 cm, dark green to ashy grey; crownshaft white, waxy. LEAVES 7-10 in the crown, sub-tristichous, porrect and arching; sheath 1-2 m, 25-40 cm diam., abaxially white waxy and distally dense red-brown scaly, adaxially peach-coloured; petiole 12-34 cm long, 4.5-15 cm wide, densely pubescent; rachis 3-6 m long, brown-scaly, in mid-leaf 2.5-5 x 1.5-4 cm, channelled in the proximal 2 m; leaflets 80-100 on each side of the rachis, in groups of 5-7 and fanned within the groups, group interval 8-10 cm, rich green, stiff or arched, the distal part often bent down, the proximal 90-200 x 0.4-1.7 cm and often with the most proximal pendulous, median 72-144 x 1.3-4 cm (interval 0.5-2 cm), distal 30-69 x 0.6- 1.8 cm, main vein 1, with few ramenta 5-6 mm long on the midrib, otherwise glabrous and waxy, apices unequally bifid, attenuate. INFLORESCENCE infrafoliar, branched to 2 (- 3) orders, 0.5 x 0.5-1 m, yellow-green with sub-pendulous rachillae; peduncle 13-20 cm long, 5-10 x 3-7 cm diam., green with scattered scales; prophyll 20-30 cm long, to 19 cm wide, borne on the peduncle at 2-4 cm, with scattered scales; peduncular bract inserted at 5-9 cm from the base of the peduncle, 54-91 cm long and 10-17 cm wide, with scattered scales, flushed pink or pale lavender, split except for the beak; non-tubular peduncular bract rarely present, once seen 18 cm long; rachis 20-52 cm long, glabrous or with scattered scales, with 15-17 first order branches, these proximally 1.3-6 x 0.5-2.2 cm diam.; rachillae 20- 44 cm long (to 73 cm in fruit), green, stiff, 3.5-10 mm diam., glabrous, with dense, slightly sunken triads; rachilla bract 2 mm long. STAMINATE FLOWERS scented like Sambucus nigra; sepals 2.3-2.8 x 2.1-2.4 mm; petals connate for c. 1 mm, free parts 4.1-4.5 x 2.3-2.5 mm; stamens 6, slightly biseriate (offset 0.2 mm), filaments 1.5-1.8 mm, cylindrical, anthers 2.2-2.7 x 0.7-1 mm; pistillode 4 x 1 mm. PISTILLATE FLOWERS in young fruit with sepals 2.8-3.2 x 2.5-3.7 mm; petals 3.7-4.3 x 4-5.3 mm. FRUIT with very fibrous endocarp, 20- 25 x 18-21 mm. SEED ellipsoid, black, deeply grooved, 17-23 x 15-20.5 mm; endosperm deeply penetrated, the grooves regular and dense, 2-9 mm deep. (Dransfield, J. & Beentje, H. 1995: The Palms of Madagascar)A

Materials Examined

  • Maroantsetra: Andranofotsy R, Sahavary, Oct. 1986 (bud, fr.), Dransfield et al. JD6405 (Holotype K; isotypi P, TAN), and Feb. 1988 (fl., y.fr.), Dransfield et al. JD6461 (K, P, TAN). Mananara Avaratra: Manambato forest, Feb. 1987 (y.fr.), M. Nicoll 439 (K, TAN); Antanambe, Oct. 1991 (bud, fr.), Beentje 4485 (BH, K, MO, P, TAN). (Dransfield, J. & Beentje, H. 1995: The Palms of Madagascar)A


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