Dypsis tanalensis (Jum. & H.Perrier) Beentje & J.Dransf., Palms Madagascar : 182 (1995)

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  • Insufficiently known 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
Known from a single collection from the Vohipeno area, south of Manakara. It was named for the people living in this area, the Tanala. (Dransfield, J. & Beentje, H. 1995: The Palms of Madagascar)A


  • Data given in the protologue, but not apparent from the type or its label: TRUNK 15-20 m high, diam. 20-50 cm, internodes greyish, nodal scars very evident. LEAVES (incl. sheath) 4-6 m long; sheath 1-1.5 by 0.4- 0.5 m (but then the authors go on and say it is channelled adaxially-so it is uncertain whether they refer to the petiole or the rachis), smooth, green, distally with a thin whitish puberulous indument; rachis 3-5 m; leaflets regular, median 130 x 3 cm. Every trunk with 3-4 interfoliar to infrafoliar INFLORESCENCES; these pendulous, branched to 3 or 4 orders, 1.5-2 by 1.2-1.6 m; prophyll 50 x 15 cm, opening near the apex only; peduncular bract 80 x 13 cm. The specimen looks like D. pilulifera, but the ruminate endosperm separates it from that taxon. Among ruminate endosperm taxa it resembles D. hovomantsina and D. tsaravoasira - but in every case the material of D. tanalensis does not have quite the same look or feel to it. According to the protologue, the epiphytic orchid Oeonia often grows on this palm. (Dransfield, J. & Beentje, H. 1995: The Palms of Madagascar)A

Biology And Ecology

  • Lowland rain forest; 100 m. (Dransfield, J. & Beentje, H. 1995: The Palms of Madagascar)A


  • Possibly extinct. Not seen for over eighty years; HB visited the area, which now seems devoid of tree palms. (Dransfield, J. & Beentje, H. 1995: The Palms of Madagascar)A

Common Name

  • Matitanana, Matitana (Tanala, meaning dead hand, supposedly after the dead inflorescences when fallen on the ground). (Dransfield, J. & Beentje, H. 1995: The Palms of Madagascar)A


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


  • LEAVES with the sheath with sloping shoulders without any sign of auricles, tomentose with peltate scales with white-laciniate edges; petiole 12 cm long (cut lengthwise in the type), densely tomen-tose; rachis in mid-leaf white-tomentose, distally keeled; leaflets regular or grouped?, in mid-leaf the interval 1-2 cm; proximal leaflets c. 115 x 1.2 cm, median 129 x 2.4-2.6 cm, near-distal 63 x 2.4 cm, main vein 1, abaxial midrib with a few basal reddish ramenta to 6 mm, with scattered minute reddish glands on the minor veins, apices bifid, unequally attenuate. INFLORESCENCE branched to 1 order or more?; rachillae 26-33 cm long, 2.5 mm diam. in flower, 4 mm diam. in fruit, with minute bundles of bristles but glabrescent, the triads distant, slightly sunken, with small acute rachilla bracts. STAMINATE FLOWERS with sepals 1.8-2 x 1.6-2.5 mm; petals 3.8-4.4 x 2.1-2.5 mm; 2.6 mm at anthesis, anthers 1.8-2.5 x 0.6-0.8 mm, versatile; pistillode 2-2.8 x 0.4-0.5 mm. PISTILLATE FLOWERS not seen at anthesis, in fruit with sepals 2-2.8 x 3-3.6 mm; petals 3-3.4 x 3.8-4.5 mm; staminodes 0.7-0.8 mm. FRUIT ellipsoid, 9-14 x 5.5-7 mm. SEED 8-13 x 4.5-6 mm; endosperm ruminate, with quite dense ruminations, 1-2 mm deep. (Dransfield, J. & Beentje, H. 1995: The Palms of Madagascar)A

Materials Examined

  • Vohipeno: Matatana (Matitana) basin, no date (fl., fr.), Perrier 12072 (P, type). (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