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Dypsis sp. (Ambanja)

A slender, clustering palm from the region around Ambanja in northwestern Madagascar, where it grows in forest at low elevation. It sports slender, ringed trunks, each topped by a yellowish waxy crownshaft that holds a dense crown of strongly keeled, recurving leaves with virtually no petiole. The leaflets are narrow and stiff, giving the crown a very elegant look. The flower stalks are short and almost hidden within the leaves. While quite clearly from within the Dypsis baronii/onilahensis group of species, its identity seems a mystery. The seeds are too slender and the altitude it grows at is too low for it to be D. heteromorpha (a high altitude species with deeply ruminate endosperm). To be D. baronii or D. onilahensis, the endosperm in the seeds of our palm are much too deeply ruminate. Without seeing the ruminate endsoperm in the seed, one could assume this is the palm that Perrier described as Chrysalidocarpus brevinodis, now included in Dypsis onilahensis, as it comes from the same general area and altitude, but for the above mentioned reasons, this clearly appears not to be the case. The species in the former genus Chrysalidocarpus (such as. D. lutescens, D. acuminum, D. arenarum or D. psammophila) do not match either because of the ruminate endosperm and the larger seed of our plant. The conclusion seems to be that Dypsis sp. (Ambanja) has not yet been scientifically described. Whatever its identity, it would certainly make a stunning ornamental for the tropical and warm temperate garden.

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If you wish to read more on palm cultivation, we highly recommend Ornamental Palm Horticulture by Timothy K. Broschat and Alan W. Meerow, available in our bookshop.

Ratings and comments reflect individual experiences and the views of our visitors. They do not necessarily describe the most appropriate methods, nor are they necessarily valid for all seeds or plants of this species. Germination and plant cultivation success depends on many different factors; nevertheless, these experiences will hopefully aid you in your effort to get the best germination results from our seeds and the best growth results from your plants.

We recommend:
The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms

The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms
by Robert Lee Riffle, Paul Craft, Scott Zona

2nd edition
Completely revised and updated

Hardcover - 528 pages
11 x 8.5 inches

Our rating:
Suitable for: all

The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms is the definitive account of all palms that can be grown for ornamental and economic use. Palms are often underutilized as a result of their unfamiliarity—even to tropical gardeners. To help introduce these valuable plants to a new audience, the authors have exhaustively documented every genus in the palm family.
825 species are described in detail, including cold hardiness, water needs, height, and any special requirements. Generously illustrated with more than 900 photos, including photos of several palm species that have never before appeared in a general encyclopedia, The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms is as valuable as an identification guide as it is a practical handbook. Interesting snippets of history, ethnobotany, and biology inform the text and make this a lively catalog of these remarkable plants.

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