Dypsis malcomberi Beentje, Palms Madagascar : 165 (1995)

Primary tabs



  • An impressive and massive tristichous palm. The species is named for Simon Malcomber, enthusiastic plant collector and tree climber, who took a great deal of trouble to obtain more material of this rare species. (Dransfield, J. & Beentje, H. 1995: The Palms of Madagascar)A


Only known from the Andohahela. (Dransfield, J. & Beentje, H. 1995: The Palms of Madagascar)A


  • Clearly allied to D. mananjarensis and D. pilulifera; though very similar, in the field these three taxa have a different appearance.
    Probably the same is: Midongy: 24km S of Midongy, May 1992 (fr.), Beentje & Andriampaniry 4670 (K, TAN), but the material is too scanty to be certain; it comes from wet forest at 800 m altitude, but was collected from a tree felled for palm-heart some time before. (Dransfield, J. & Beentje, H. 1995: The Palms of Madagascar)A


  • D. piluliferaeet D. mananjarensi similis sed vagina folii glabra forma rachillarum bracteas triadium conspicuas et flores confertim tectarum recedit. (Dransfield, J. & Beentje, H. 1995: The Palms of Madagascar)A

Biology And Ecology

  • Moist forest; slight or steep mid slopes, occasionally near forest streams; alt. 400-800 m. (Dransfield, J. & Beentje, H. 1995: The Palms of Madagascar)A


  • Vulnerable. Only known from a single small area. Though this species occurs in a protected area (Andohahela is a Reserve Sp├ęciale) the felling for construction purposes seems to continue. (Dransfield, J. & Beentje, H. 1995: The Palms of Madagascar)A

Common Name

  • Rahosy, Vakaka (Antanosy). (Dransfield, J. & Beentje, H. 1995: The Palms of Madagascar)A


  • The outer wood is used to make planks for walls. (Dransfield, J. & Beentje, H. 1995: The Palms of Madagascar)A


  • Solitary palm. TRUNK 15-25 m, 25-35 cm diam., distally 14-15 cm diam., at the base slightly bulbous with a few aerial roots, internodes 10-28 cm (distally 5-6 cm), slightly stepped, finely fissured and brown, ringed, nodal scars c. 2 cm. LEAVES tristichous, 6-8 per crown, plumose; sheath bright green to yellow-green, waxy, swollen, 1.5-2 m, 17-25 cm diam., closed or open for up to one quarter of its length, glabrous, auricles absent or up to 4 x 10 cm; petiole 20-50 cm, 4-8 cm diam., bright green, glabrous, canaliculate with sharp edges; rachis 3-4 m long, bright green, in mid-leaf 4-5 cm diam., proximally canaliculate, distally keeled; leaflets in groups of 2-8 or only slightly irregular, the group interval 1-13 cm, the leaflets fanned to almost in one plane, drooping in their distal part, 135-188 on each side of the rachis, basal 80-110 (-220) x 0.6-3.2 cm, median 93-135 x 2.8-4.6 cm, distal 10-50 x 1-2 cm, attenuate, main vein 1, bright green, not waxy, glabrous but for the ramenta. INFLORESCENCE infrafoliar, branched to 3-4 orders, arching and with pendulous rachillae in fruit; peduncle green, 20-30 cm long, 6-16 x 3-5 cm diam., glabrous; prophyll 42-73 x 12-20 cm, borne at 8-9 cm above the base of the peduncle, glabrous, splitting abaxially; peduncular bract borne at 15 cm above the base of the peduncle, deciduous, 72-117 x 16 cm, beaked for 8-21 cm, green, glabrous with a waxy bloom; rachis 60-124 cm, green, glabrous, with 18-21 branched and 12-17 unbranched first order branches; rachillae 15-48 cm long, 3.5-8 mm diam., glabrous, triads dense with proud, slightly reflexed bracts. STAMINATE FLOWERS pale green, with sepals 1.8-2.3 x 2.2-2.8 mm; petals 2.3-2.6 x 1.8-1.9 mm; stamens 6, cream, uniseriate, filaments c. 1 mm in bud, anthers c. 1.3 x 0.6 mm, versatile; pistillode c. 1.5 x 0.5 mm. PISTILLATE FLOWERS (in fruit) with sepals 2.6-3.2 x 2.4-2.8 mm; petals 3-3.5 x 3-4.2 mm; staminodes 0.5-1.3 mm, flat; gynoecium not seen. FRUIT pale orange, globose to ellipsoid, 8-10 x 4-7 mm, with hardly fibrous endocarp; SEED c. 5.5 x 4 mm, with homogeneous endosperm. (Dransfield, J. & Beentje, H. 1995: The Palms of Madagascar)A

Materials Examined

  • Tolanaro: upper Manampanihy valley between Eminiminy and the Saindro Col, Feb. 1934 (fr.), Humbert 14032 (P); Col Tanatana, Andohahela, Nov. 1989 (fl., fr.), Dransfield et al. JD6779 (K, P, TAN); 13km N of Ezoambo, March 1992 (bud), Beentje & Andriampaniry 4596 (BH, K, MO, P, TAN); idem, March 1992 (fr.), Beentje & Andriampaniry 4603 (BH, K, MO, P, TAN); Andohahela R, May 1992 (bud), Malcomber et al. 1542 (K, MO, TAN). (Dransfield, J. & Beentje, H. 1995: The Palms of Madagascar)A


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