Ravenea louvelii Beentje, Kew Bull. 49: 664 (1994)

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  • This is one of the strangest Ravenea species, with an archaic appearance. The inflorescences are almost hidden among the leaf bases, and are probably beetle-pollinated. The species is named for M. Louvel, head of the Forestry Department at Analamazaotra in the 1920s. (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, only known from Andasibe. Ravenea louvelii, showing litter-trapping habit and persistent leaf bases (Dransfield et al. JD6485). ; (Dransfield, J. & Beentje, H. 1995: The Palms of Madagascar)A

Biology And Ecology

  • Moist forest, steep slope near crest; 800- 1000 m. (Dransfield, J. & Beentje, H. 1995: The Palms of Madagascar)A


  • Endangered. Only known from a single site, where it grows outside the protected area. Population numbers are low; we have counted fewer than 25 trees with trunks, and rejuvenation seems minimal. (Dransfield, J. & Beentje, H. 1995: The Palms of Madagascar)A

Common Name

  • Lakamarefo, Siraboto. (Dransfield, J. & Beentje, H. 1995: The Palms of Madagascar)A


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


  • Short stocky palm of the forest undergrowth. TRUNK 1.5-3 m, 15-20 cm diam. without leaf sheaths, c. 50 cm with the sheath bases; distal 1.5 m of trunk with sheath remnants, proximal part only with sheath bases; wood hard; internodes c. 3 cm. LEAVES 9-14 in crown, robust, porrect, stiff, with up to 15 marcescent leaves present; sheath 46-60 x 6.5-8 cm, channelled adaxially, rounded abaxially, swollen at base, with dense soft pale brown tomentum, turning fibrous with age, with long stiff brown mar ginal fibres; petiole 50-130 cm long, proximally 3-5.5 x 2-3.5 cm across, distally 2-3 x 1.2-1.9 cm across, especially abaxially covered in rich brown scales, with very sharp margins, adaxially channelled with the central part flat or with central ridge, abaxially rounded; rachis 2.2-3 m long, in mid-leaf c. 19 x 11 mm across, adaxially keeled with up to 9 mm wide flat keel top and abaxially flat, with sharp upper edges, especially abaxially covered in brown scales, continuing past the distal pair of leaflets for 10-21.5 cm; leaflets in one plane, slightly pendulous in distal part of leaflet, dark green, attenuate, 80-104 on each side of the rachis, the proximal ones 28-42 x 0.3-1 cm, median 47-67 x 1.4-2.6 cm (interval 1.5-2.5 cm), distal 10-40 x 0.4-1.8 cm, with some ramenta near the very base of the leaflet, or in young leaves with lines of red-brown scales; rachis bracts 4 x 1 mm; pedicels 0.5-2 mm, 2.5-4 mm across; bracteoles 1.5-4 x 1-2 mm, connate with the pedicel for 0.5-1 mm. PISTILLATE FLOWERS slightly musty-scented, cream-coloured; calyx connate for 0.6-1 mm, 2.8-5 mm across, the free lobes 0.8-2 x 2.6-3 mm; petals 6.5-9.5 x 1.7-2.2 mm, fleshy, 1.5 mm thick, connate by 1 mm through the fleshy base of the antesepalous filaments; staminodes 6, 2.8-3.2 x 1.6-1.7 mm; ovary ovoid, 3-3.8 x 3 mm. FRUIT dark purple (protologue says yellowish at maturity), somewhat depressed globose, 13-14 x 15-20 mm (25 mm according to Beccari), 1-2seeded; stigmatic remains subapical or terminal. SEED ovoid, sometimes flat on 1 face, 9-13 x 6-9 mm; seed coat black, 0.2 mm thick. GERMINATION remote, eophyll pinnate. (Dransfield, J. & Beentje, H. 1995: The Palms of Madagascar)A

Materials Examined

  • Moramanga: Analamazaotra, Feb. 1912 (stam., fr.), Perrier 12021 (Holotype P); idem, Nov. 1986, (stam.), Dransfield et al. JD6418 (K, P, TAN) and (pist.) Dransfield et al. JD6419 (K, TAN) and (seedling) Dransfield et al. JD6420 (K, TAN); idem, March 1988 (stam.), Dransfield et al. JD6485 (K, TAN) and (pist.) Dransfield et al. JD6486 (K, TAN); idem, Dec. 1991 (fr.), Beentje 4536 (BH, K, MO, P, TAN); idem, Aug. 1992 (ster.), Beentje & Andriampaniry 4745 (K, BH); idem, Dec. 1992 (dead stam.), Beentje & Andriampaniry 4769 (K, 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