Dypsis lanceolata

Geoff Stein - Author & Editor

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Pronunciation: DIP-siss lan-see-oh-LAH-tuh

Common Name:

Dypsis lanceolata has been argued by some palm enthusiasts to be the most beautiful palm that can be grown in southern California. It is a striking Madagascan palm indeed, with turquoise-green, ringed stems, white crownshaft; fuzzy orange leaf bases, and very bright, shiny green leaves with leathery ovoid, curling leaflets. Not only is this palm beautiful, but it is also an excellent palm for growing near the coast, or nearly frost free areas, rivaling its appearance in the tropics (a rarity for most palms in southern California).

Appearance and Biology
  • Habit: multiple with crowns of 5-7 leaves each of arching, pinnate leaves
  • Height: 15'
  • Trunk: multiple (rarely single); 3"-4" thick; deep turquoise green to dark, forest green with prominent, straight, white rings
  • Crownshaft: white 18" long
  • Spread: 12"
  • Leaf Description: pinnate; closely space, overlapping, ovoid, curling, leathery, deep green leaflets; 6' long
  • Petiole/Leaf bases: 3"-10" long; rounded with somewhat flat dorsal surfaces; leaf bases unpslit and white with very base orangish and fuzzy
  • Reproduction: monoecious
  • Inflorescence: 1' long, laterally oriented, dark green and highly branched; flowers white to very pale yellow
  • Fruit: ovoid, 1' long, light green to yellow to orange to bright red when ripe
  • Seed:
Horticultural Characteristics
  • Minimum Temp: 32F
  • Drought Tolerance: poor
  • Dry Heat Tolerance: moderate
  • Wind Tolerance: poor
  • Salt Tolerance: unknown
  • Growth Rate: slow
  • Soil Preference: well draining and moist
  • Light Requirement: full to partial sun
  • Human Hazards: none
  • Disease or Horticultural Problems: none
  • Transplants?: unknown
  • Indoor?: possibly, but not tried often
  • Availability: rare, but readily available at palm specialty nurseries

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