Dypsis paludosa J.Dransf., Palms Madagascar : 343 (1995)

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  • This species occurs in small pockets of peat swamp developed on white sands behind the beach along the East Coast. Near Mananara Avaratra, it has been collected up to c. 300 m elevation. It is very variable in leaf dissection within populations. Some forms with entire leaves are very beautiful and would make fine ornamentals. The species name is the Latin for marshdwelling, referring to the habitat. (Dransfield, J. & Beentje, H. 1995: The Palms of Madagascar)A


East Coast: Mananara Avaratra to Ambila-Lemaitso, south of Toamasina, Î;le Sainte Marie. (Dransfield, J. & Beentje, H. 1995: The Palms of Madagascar)A


  • For an account of the interpretation of Dypsis boiviniana, see under that species. D. paludosa is the palm that Beccari (1912, 1914) interpreted as D. boiviniana based on the mixed gathering by Boivin from Î;le Sainte Marie. When we made collections of a dypsid from Ambila-Lemaitso, we thought that we had at last refound the palm interpreted as D. boiviniana by Beccari and the Flore de Madagascar (1945). However, the new material has glabrescent or completely glabrous rather than hairy rachillae. A collection made by Perrier (12054 in P) from near Mananara is a close match for the original Boivin three-stamened plant, and has hairy rachillae. In leaf it is indistinguishable from the Ambila-lemaitso taxon and also from a sterile collection in P made by Boivin (No 1706 from Tafondrou, Î;le Sainte Marie). This Boivin collection almost certainly represents the leaves of the specimen with the second order hairy rachillae, that Beccari interpreted as being the type of D. boiviniana; the labels on the sheets and state "Forêt de Tafondrou, 1849, Sainte Marie de Madagascar" and are undoubtedly original, rather than new labels written by Beccari. Furthermore, this taxon survives to this day on Île Sainte Marie. The great similarity in form, texture and size of the leaves of the Ambila-Lemaitso taxon, Perrier 12054 and Boivin 1706 and the similarity in the form of the inflorescences, suggest to us that the hairiness of the rachillae is probably a variable feature, and we are thus including all these collections in the same species that we describe as new and name D. paludosa. A collection (Dransfield JD7524), made in November 1994 in the Forêt de Kalalao, about 20 km north of Tafondrou, matches the early specimens of Boivin, but is in very young inflorescence bud. The inflorescence branches to two orders and the rachillae are hairy although very young. It is interesting to record that true D. (Dransfield, J. & Beentje, H. 1995: The Palms of Madagascar)A


  • Palma mediocris, stolonifera vel rare solitaria, foliis plerumque epetiolatis, irregulariter divisis, segmentis plerumque latis, inflorescentia 2- ramosa, rachillis numerosis, crassiusculis, bracteis rotundatis, floribus staminatis triandris, staminibus antesepalis, pistillodio conico. (Dransfield, J. & Beentje, H. 1995: The Palms of Madagascar)A

Biology And Ecology

  • Peat swamp forest on white sand behind the coast and in swampy places further inland; to 400 m. (Dransfield, J. & Beentje, H. 1995: The Palms of Madagascar)A


  • Vulnerable; although widespread, D. paludosa occurs in coastal lowland forest that is much threatened. (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


  • Clustering (rarely solitary) forest undergrowth palm, tending to form rather open colonies by short stolons. STEMS 4-6 (-9) m tall, (1.5) 2.5-5 cm diam.; internodes 1-6 cm long, grey-brown near base, green near the crown, when young covered rather densely with caducous red-brown scales. LEAVES 9-12 in crown, tending to be porrect, giving the crown a characteristic shuttlecock appearance; crownshaft well developed, c. 30 cm long; sheaths 21-27 cm long, 6-10 cm wide when split and flattened out, abaxially rather densely covered with red-brown stellate scales, scattered or arranged in longitudinal lines, auricles irregularly triangular, to 2 x 0.7-1.5 cm, soon tattering; petiole absent or very short, rarely to 7.5 cm, 10-16 mm wide, adaxially flat or shallowly channelled, abaxially slightly angled, scaly as the leaf sheath; rachis 41-114 cm long, tapering from up to 16 mm wide at base, adaxially channelled near the base, abaxially somewhat angled, abaxially bearing sparse to dense caducous dark brown or pale scales with dark brown punctiform bases; blade coriaceous, very variable, tending to be ± cuneate in outline, entire bifid, or basally entire and with 1-3 distal leaflets or irregularly or regularly pinnate with 2-13 leaflets, when entire, blade to 90 cm long with lobes to 70 x 15 cm, when split into leaflets, leaflets very varied in length and width, mid-leaf leaflets 30-70 x 1.4-5 cm, basal leaflets sometimes very short and slender, 10 x 0.5 cm, all but the apical pair acuminate, apical pair shallowly lobed; leaflets on drying tending to have reflexed margins; adaxial blade surface with very sparse punctiform scales, abaxial surface with scattered brown punctiform scales. INFLORESCENCE interfoliar, rarely becoming infrafoliar with age, shorter than the leaves, branching to 2 orders; peduncle 15-50 cm long, 7-15 mm diam., densely rusty hairy; prophyll (8) 15-43 x 1-3 cm, inserted 3-14 cm above the base of the peduncle, sparsely dark brown scaly; peducular bract 20-30 x 1.5-3 cm, inserted 19-28 cm above the base of the inflorescence, similar to prophyll; rachis 12-25 cm, sparsely to densely dark brown hairy; rachillae numerous (c. 50), 15-35 cm, spreading to pendulous, c. 2.5-3 mm diam. when fresh, shrinking on drying, glabrous to rather densely covered in dark brown hairs; rachilla bracts, entire, low, c. 0.5 x 1.5 mm tending to form shallow pits, c. 1.5-2 mm apart. STAMINATE FLOWERS in immature bud c. 1.1 x 0.8 mm; sepals 1 x 0.8 mm, irregularly imbricate; petals 0.8 x 0.5 mm; stamens 3, antesepalous, anthers sagittate, 0.5 x 0.3 mm; pistillode conical, c. 0.3 mm high. PISTILLATE FLOWERS at anthesis c. 3 x 2.5 mm; sepals 1.8 x 1.8 mm, irregularly explanate, imbricate, splitting; petals striate, 3 x 2.5 mm, basally imbricate, apically triangular, valvate, somewhat reflexed at anthesis; staminodes 6, minute, dentiform, c. 0.3 x 0.1 mm; ovary irregularly globose, 2.5 x 2.5 mm, stigmas 3, slightly reflexed. FRUIT ellipsoid, sometimes somewhat fusiform, c. 18 x 9 mm in immature but probably full grown state, endocarp with coarse fibres. SEED 11 x 5 mm; endosperm homogeneous. (Dransfield, J. & Beentje, H. 1995: The Palms of Madagascar)A

Materials Examined

  • Mananara Avaratra: Mananara, Sept. 1912 (buds), Perrier 12054 (P); Antanambe, Oct. 1991 (fl.), Beentje 4462 (BH, K, MO, P, TAN); idem, April 1992 (fl.), Beentje & Dransfield 4620 (BH, K, MO, P, TAN); idem, April 1992 (fl.), Beentje & Dransfield 4647 (BH, K, MO, P, TAN); idem, Oct. 1994, (bud), Dransfield & Beentje JD7503 (K, TAN). Î;le Sainte Marie: Tafondrou, 1849 (sterile), Boivin 1706 (P); said to be Ravin-tsara (but probably same as Boivin 1706, mixed with type of Dypsis boiviniana Baillon), Boivin s.n. (P); Forêt de Kalalao, Nov. 1994 (buds), Dransfield JD7524 (K, TAN). Ampasimanolotra: Ambila-Lemaitso, c. 5 km south of village, Nov. 1986 (buds), Dransfield et al. JD6438 (K, TAN), JD6439 (Holotype K; isotypes BH, MO, TAN); c. 6 km south of village, March 1988 (fr.), Dransfield et al. JD6492 (K, TAN), JD6493 (K, TAN), JD6494 (K, TAN); 8.6 km south of village, Sept. 1991 (fl.), Beentje 4443 (BH, K, MO, P, TAN); 7.2 km south of village, Sept. 1991 (fl.), Beentje 4448 (K, TAN). 1 (Dransfield, J. & Beentje, H. 1995: The Palms of Madagascar)A


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