Ravenea nana Beentje, Kew Bull. 49: 665 (1994)

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  • A mystery. Until more is known about its habit and inflorescences (multiple? solitary?), we are unable to include this in the key or discuss its affinities, though it resembles R. hildebrandtii from the Comoros. It differs from this species in the much denser tomentum on the leaf-sheath, the smaller leaf rachis, and the larger fruit. It is curious that the intensive collecting on Marojejy during the late 1980s did not result in a recollecting of this species. (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
E Madagascar, between Marojejy and Andohahela. (Dransfield, J. & Beentje, H. 1995: The Palms of Madagascar)A

Biology And Ecology

  • Ericoid bush or ?low forest on rocky sites, gneiss & quartzite; (?400-) 1100-1900 m; the altitude information on the printed label of the type might be wrong; we believe this is a high-altitude species. (Dransfield, J. & Beentje, H. 1995: The Palms of Madagascar)A


  • ?Endangered. Only known from three areas, and not collected in the last thirty years. (Dransfield, J. & Beentje, H. 1995: The Palms of Madagascar)A

Common Name

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


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


  • Small palm. TRUNK 3-4 m tall. LEAF sheath 12.9-16 x 1.5 cm, with thin downward-pointing marginal fibres, densely brown-tomentose; petiole 18-67 cm, proximally 0.5-1.6 x 0.4-1 cm, distally 0.7-1.2 x 0.5-0.8 cm, densely pubescent/tomentose on both surfaces, slightly to deeply channelled adaxially, convex abaxially, with sharp edges; rachis (25-) 33-40 cm, in mid-leaf 6-7 mm wide, with dense grey-brown tomentum on both surfaces; leaflets on opposite sides of the rachis at an angle of 90° with each other, 18-29 on each side of the rachis, the proximal 12-26 x 0.1-1.3 cm (interval 0.8-2 cm), median 16-35 x 0.9-2 cm, without visible ramenta or with dense minute ramenta, acuminate, main vein 1, with scales on margins only, distal 7.5-23 x 0.3-1.5 cm. STAMINATE INFLORESCENCE branched to 1 order; peduncle 28 (or more) x 0.4 x 0.25 cm, densely brown-pubescent; prophyll unknown; peduncular bracts c. 10 cm, 18-25 cm, 29-40 (or more) cm, 30-41 cm; rachis bract c. 11 x 2 mm; rachis 9-13 cm, with 25-40 branches, scaly proximally, glabrous distally; rachillae 2-5 cm, 0.5 mm across, straight; pedicel 0.5-1 mm. STAMINATE FLOWERS with the calyx with very short connate part and lobes 0.8-1.1 mm long; petals 4-4.4 x 1.8 mm, connate for 0.3-0.4 mm by the filament callus of the antesepalous stamens; filaments in 2 series, the antesepalous 0.4-0.5 mm, the antepetalous adnate to the petals for 0.8-1.3 mm, free for 0.2-0.3 mm; anthers 1.5-2 x 0.3-0.4 mm; pistillode 0.6-0.9 mm. PISTILLATE INFLORESCENCE 59-92 cm, branched to 1 order; peduncle 35 (or more?) -77 cm, proximally 3-6 mm across, distally 2-3.5 mm across, with dense red-brown scales, glabrescent; prophyll 6-15 cm, tattering; peduncular bracts 10-13 cm, 19-38 cm, 57-82 cm, 44-92 cm, abaxially densely scaly, adaxially glabrous, chestnut brown; non-tubular peduncular bract 4-18 x 0.3-0.5 cm; rachis 6.3-13 cm, scaly, glabrescent; rachillae 14-27 in number, 1-7.5 cm, 1.2-2 mm across, sinuous; pedicel 0.5-1.5 mm, bracteole 1-2 mm. PISTILLATE FLOWERS with the sepals 1-1.5 mm; petals (fibres only) 2.5-?5 x 1.5-1.6 mm. FRUIT 1.3-2.1 x 1.1-1.7 cm, one-seeded, stigmatic remains lateral to subbasal. (Dransfield, J. & Beentje, H. 1995: The Palms of Madagascar)A

Materials Examined

  • Andapa: Marojejy, W of Manantenina R., 1700-1900 m, March 1949 (fr.), Humbert 23695 (K, P); near Andapa, 400-600 m, Nov./Dec. 1948 (old stam., old pist., yfr.), Humbert & Capuron 21947 (Holotype P; isotype K); Mt Beondroka, N of Maroambihy, March 1949 (fr.), Humbert 23490 (K, P). Fianarantsoa: Andrambovato, Nov. 1963 (fr.), Bosser 18297 (P, TAN). Tolanaro: Mt. Papango, Nov. 1928 (yfr.), Humbert 6354 (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