Dypsis leptocheilos (Hodel) Beentje & J.Dransf., Palms Madagascar : 176 (1995)

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  • A species described from a cultivated tree in Tahiti; it resembles D. lastelliana, but the situation about its origin is confused. In cultivation this beautiful palm is much more tolerant of cooler and drier conditions than is D. lastelliana, making it more suitable for cultivation in southern California. The name is derived from the Greek words for slender lip. (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
Said to occur in W Madagascar, but no voucher specimens from the wild are known. (Dransfield, J. & Beentje, H. 1995: The Palms of Madagascar)A


  • Close to D. lastelliana but differs in rachilla bract (thinner in leptocheilos), and fruit/seed size. Differences enumerated in the protologue with anoth
    er species of Neodypsis (it is unclear which one) in the (Dransfield, J. & Beentje, H. 1995: The Palms of Madagascar)A

Biology And Ecology

  • Said to be at low elevations along and in rocky, sandy, seasonally dry streambeds (no vouchers). (Dransfield, J. & Beentje, H. 1995: The Palms of Madagascar)A


  • Unknown, until the status in the wild has become more clear. (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


  • Solitary palm. TRUNK to 10 m, 25 cm diam., slightly flared at the base; internodes 12 cm, nodal scars 2 cm, white. LEAVES c. 15 in the crown, porrect; sheath partially open in outer leaves, c. 62 cm long, 5 mm thick, covered in dense rusty brown tomentum, with auricles 3.5 cm high; petiole 17 cm long, 7-9 cm wide, channelled adaxially, densely tomentose but glabrescent; rachis to 4 m long, proximally channelled and tomentose, more distally becoming flattened and eventually keeled distally, glabrous distally; leaflets up to 103 on each side of the rachis, regular, slightly drooping, green, linear, straight, acuminate, the proximal 55 x 0.5-0.8 cm, median 85 x 4 cm, distal 55 x 0.5-0.8 cm, glabrous but for some ramenta on the proximal part of the midrib abaxially, main veins 3. INFLORESCENCE interfoliar becoming infrafoliar in fruit, branched to 3 orders, to 1.7 x 1.4 m; peduncle to 65 cm long, 11 cm diam. proximally, 3-6 cm diam. distally, flattened, reddish tomentose over green; prophyll ± woody, c. 43 cm, borne at 12 cm above the base of the peduncle, c. 12 cm wide, tomentose; peduncular bract deciduous, woody, inserted at 26 cm from the base of the peduncle, to 70 x 10-15 cm, reddish tomentose; two smaller peduncular bracts present near the apex of the peduncle, to 17 cm long, tomen-tose; rachis 100 cm, flattened, grey-tomentellous, with 24 first order branches; rachis bracts to 3 cm long; rachillae spreading, to 30 cm long, 3 mm diam., green; with distant triads in pits; rachilla bract 0.5-0.75 mm high. STAMINATE FLOWERS with sepals 2-2.5 mm, keeled, truncate; petals on a 1 mm high receptacle, 2 x 1.5-1.75 mm, ovate, acute; stamens said to be connate for 1.75 mm, filaments 0.8-1 mm long, anthers 1 mm long, dorsifixed?; pistillode 1.75-2 mm, columnar. PISTILLATE FLOWERS with sepals 2 mm; petals 3 x 3 mm; gynoecium 4 mm high, 2-2.5 mm diam., with 1 mm long stigma lobes. FRUIT globose, dark brown, 10-12 mm; endocarp fibrous, the fibres anastomosing rather intensely. SEED 8.5-10 x 8.5-9 mm, globose, pointed at the base, rounded at the apex, with a subbasal depression corresponding to the embryo; ruminations of the endosperm irregular, to 3.5 mm deep and up to half the diameter of the seed wide. EOPHYLL pinnate. (Dransfield, J. & Beentje, H. 1995: The Palms of Madagascar)A

Materials Examined

  • Cultivated material originating from Madagascar and grown in Tahiti, Papeari, April 1992 (fr., seedling), D.R. & M. Hodel 1144 (type, K). And probably: without locality, anno 1986 (seed), Razafindratsira s.n. (K). (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