Dypsis decaryi

Common name

triangle palm, madagascar three-sided palm

Description

Stems: Solitary, stout, dark brown stems to 7 m tall and up to 40 cm in diameter, with narrow, grayish rings of leaf scars. Leaves: Pinnate, reduplicate, to 3 m long, radiating in three vertical rows (3-ranked), with a rachis that curves downward near the tip. The linear leaflets are regularly arranged and are held in a narrow V-shape. The crown shaft is not closed but consists of bulging leaf bases that overlap in a triangular shape. The young leaf bases are covered with felt-like, reddish-brown tomentum. Leaflets are blue-green or grayish-green with brown or tan twisted ramenta on the underside near the rachis, and new leaves have marginal reins. Flowers and fruits: Inflorescence to 1.5 m long, branched to three orders. Male and female flowers are creamy yellow and are borne on the same inflorescence. The yellow-green fruits are 2.5 cm long and have remnants of the stigma at the base.

Diagnostic features

Field: The 3-ranked leaves and regularly arranged leaflets of the triangle palm makes it readily identifiable in the landscape.

Lab: Brownish ramenta near the leaf rachis on the underside of the blue-green or gray-green leaflets

May be confused with

Dypsis madagascariensis also has 3-ranked leaves, but the leaflets are inserted in multiple planes, with a plumose appearance.

Distribution

Native to Madagascar

Additional comments

Commonly cultivated in Hawaii

Scientific name

Dypsis decaryi (Jum.) Beentje & J. Dransf.

Family

Arecaceae/Palmae

Synonyms

Neodypsis decaryi Jumelle

Last Updated May 2014

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