Ravenea julietiae Beentje, Kew Bull. 49: 646 (1994)

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  • A graceful palm of lowland forest. The female inflorescences are unique in that they are longer than the leaves, but the male trees are quite like R. sambiranensis. The species is named for HB's wife Juliet, who first pointed it out in the field. (Dransfield, J. & Beentje, H. 1995: The Palms of Madagascar)A


E Madagascar, between Mananara Avaratra and Vangaindrano. (Dransfield, J. & Beentje, H. 1995: The Palms of Madagascar)A


  • The staminate trees seem to have more leaves than the pistillate, with ranges from 21-23 (staminate) and 11-19 (pistillate). Male trees also seem to have longer petioles, 60-80 cm rather than 30-50 cm. The species is distinguished from other species with solitary pistillate, but multiple staminate inflorescences, by its extraordinarily long pistillate inflorescences, its large black seeds, and the dimensions of its leaflets. It is the only Ravenea species apart from R. louvelii in which remote germination has been observed, rather than the usual adjacentligular germination. (Dransfield, J. & Beentje, H. 1995: The Palms of Madagascar)A

Biology And Ecology

  • Moist lowland forest; on slight to steep mid slopes; 50-285 m. (Dransfield, J. & Beentje, H. 1995: The Palms of Madagascar)A


  • Endangered. Numbers are very low (less than 50 trees seen ). Both southern localities (where the bulk of the population occurs) are being destroyed rapidly. (Dransfield, J. & Beentje, H. 1995: The Palms of Madagascar)A

Common Name

  • Sindro madiniky (Betsimisaraka, Antanambe); Saroroira (Betsimisaraka, Ampasimanolotra); Vakapasy, Anive, Anivona (Tanala/Antaisaka). (Dransfield, J. & Beentje, H. 1995: The Palms of Madagascar)A


  • Used in construction; hollowed trunks used for irrigation pipes. (Dransfield, J. & Beentje, H. 1995: The Palms of Madagascar)A


  • Graceful medium-sized palm. TRUNK 3-10 m, 10-15 cm diam., diameter near crown c. 7 cm; basal boss to 15 cm high, 40 cm across; internodes 6-12 cm (near crown 2 cm), nodal scars c. 1 cm, bark brown-grey; wood very hard, with black fibres just below the bark; base of crown bulbous, c. 15 cm across. LEAVES 9-23 in the crown, gracefully arching; sheath 40-80 x 12-16 cm, pale green, the base abaxially with white to pale brown tomentum; petiole 30-80 cm long, proximally 3.5-6 x 2.2-4 cm across, distally 2.5-4 x 1.4-3.5 cm, deeply channelled with sharp edges, glabrescent or with a few scattered scales; rachis 1.1-2.8 m, channelled or flat for some 40 cm, keeled for the rest, green with white scattered scales, in mid-leaf 1.7-2 cm wide; leaflets stiff or with the distal part of the leaflet pendulous, the leaflets on opposite sides of the rachis at an angle of c. 90° to each other, 34-48 on each side of the rachis, the proximal 58-110 x 1.3-3.7 cm, median 47-90 x 3.3-5.2 cm (interval 4 cm), distal 10-26 x 1.2-2.3 cm, ramenta apparently none, but in young leaves sparse large ramenta over entire length of midrib. STAMINATE INFLORESCENCE interfoliar, only known dead, multiple in 5s-7s, the individual inflorescences up to 90 cm, branched to 2 orders; peduncle 38-47 cm, distally c. 5 x 3 mm across; prophyll not seen; peduncular bracts unknown, except for one found on the ground, 84 cm long; rachis 46-55 cm, distally zigzag, with about 26 branched and 5 unbranched branches; rachillae 3.5-17 cm, distally sinuous. PISTILLATE INFLORESCENCE interfoliar, solitary, erect, spreading in fruit, 250-400 cm, branched to 1 order; peduncle 145-305 cm, proximally 2-2.2 x 1.3-1.8 cm across, distally 1.5 x 1 cm across, green with silvery-brown indument; prophyll 15-20 x 5 cm; peduncular bracts 22-36 cm (inserted at 2-6 cm from the base of the peduncle), 37-114 cm (inserted at c. 13 cm), 185-225 cm (inserted at c. 19 cm), 240-280 cm (inserted at 25-115 cm); rachis 28-70 cm long; rachillae 29-34 in number, 20 (distally) -49 (proximally) cm, 2.5-4 mm across in fruit; pedicels 1-8 mm; flowers unknown. FRUIT colour unknown, ellipsoid, 22-27 x 17-20 mm and with lateral beak in younger stage, one-seeded. SEED ovoid or ellipsoid, black, 19-20 x 14-17 mm; seedcoat black, 0.2 mm thick. GERMINATION remote; eophyll bifid. (Dransfield, J. & Beentje, H. 1995: The Palms of Madagascar)A

Materials Examined

  • Mananara Avaratra: Antanambe, April 1992 (old pist.), Beentje et al. 4623 (K, MO, P, TAN). Ampasimanolotra: Andrambolahy Kely to Andranampony, April 1951 (fr.), Cours 4510 (K, P, TAN). Manakara: Amby forest, May 1992 (old pist.), Beentje & Andriampaniry 4661 (K, TAN); idem, July 1992 (old pist.), H. Beentje & J. Beentje 4719 (K, TAN); idem (fr., seedl.), Beentje 4722 (K). Farafangana: Manombo, Jan. 1993 (fr.), Beentje & Andriampaniry 4783 (Holotype K; isotypes BH, MO, P, TAN) and (old stam.), Beentje & Andriampaniry 4784 (K, TAN), and (yfr.), Beentje & Andriampaniry 4787 (K). (Dransfield, J. & Beentje, H. 1995: The Palms of Madagascar)A


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