Dypsis bosseri

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Dypsis (DIP-sis)
bosseri (boss-EHR-ee)
P1010102 Dypsis bosseri.JPG
Photo in Habitat by Phil Arrowsmith.
Scientific Classification
Genus: Dypsis (DIP-sis)
bosseri (boss-EHR-ee)
None set.
Native Continent
Habit: Clustering
Leaf type: Pinnate
Survivability index
Common names

Habitat and Distribution

Dypsis bosseri is endemic to Madagascar. Known only from forest west of
In Analalafa Forest, Madagascar. Photo by Jeff Marcus.
Mahavelona. Lowland forest.


Dypsis bosseri seems to grow best in a wet spot. They tolerate the cold quite well, but we're not sure yet how they would handle a slight frost..? They do grow much better, and grow slightly larger in the tropics as opposed to the subtropics. Compare the photos of the same form growing at Jeff’s in Hawaii and then the photos of this same form growing in the subtropics on the Sunshine coast. Notice the size difference of the leaves..! Not the height of the plant. As a juvenile this species, or form, that Jeff Marcus and Clayton York are growing will be very hard to tell apart from D.hildebrandtii, D.forficifolia, D.lantzeana and a few others in this group.

In addition, there is this strap leaf form. As you can see from these habitat photos taken by Phil Arrowsmith, taken during his recent trip to Madagascar with John Dransfield, that this form looks totally different to these others. It is almost like it’s another species; “especially with these long petioles” as the description in Palms of Madagascar refers to the “petioles being absent”. So the only way you could tell that this was a form of Dypsis bosseri would be to have it flower and count the stamen, (see photo) Many of these smaller Dypsis can have more than one form, and just to make things more confusing, they can look totally different to what we know and expect a particular species to look like.

Slender forest undergrowth palm to 2.5 m tall. Stem not preserved in available specimen. Leaf sheath dimensions not known, surface very densely covered in thick ferruginous scales, auricles apparently absent; petiole absent; rachis 37-40 cm, about 5 mm wide at the base, adaxially with scattered ferruginous scales, abaxially rather densely covered with caducous ferruginous scales; leaflets 4-5 on each side of the rachis, the lowermost pair very short, 5 x 0.5 cm, sometimes only partly separated from the second pair, second pair of leaflets 14-19 x 2-2.5 cm, third pair to 25 x 6 cm, apical pair to 15 x about 8 cm, joined for 12.5-14 cm along the rachis, with an apical notch to 5 cm deep, the apical margins deeply lobed to 5 mm, occasionally deeper, adaxial surface glabrous, abaxially with scattered brown punctiform scales and bands of scattered brown scales. INFLORESCENCE branched to 2 orders, relatively stout; peduncle 21 cm long; prophyll 16 x 1 cm, membranous, with scattered red-brown scales; peduncular bract similar, exceeding the prophyll by about 6.5 cm; rachis 11 cm long, about 2.5 mm in diam., densely covered with redbrown trichomes to about 1 mm long; rachillae about 28, 2.5-6 cm long, about 0.8 mm in diam., very densely covered in red-brown trichomes, triads about 2 mm apart, rachilla bracts to 0.5 mm, laciniate. STAMINATE FLOWERS about 1.5 mm in diam.; sepals rounded, about 0.5 x 0.5 mm, keeled, margins erose; petals triangular, striate, about 1.5 x 1 mm; stamens 3, antepetalous, about 0.5 mm high, anthers about 0.2 x 0.1 mm, didymous, staminodes triangular, antesepalous, about 0.2 x 0.2 mm; pistillode conical, minute. Other parts not known. (J. Dransfield and H. Beentje. 1995)/Palmweb. Editing by edric.

We have described this new species, even though it is known only from a single specimen, because it seems so distinctive. The combination of robust epetiolate leaf with few broad and very close segments and the stocky inflorescence, with axes all densely covered in thick ferruginous hairs is distinctive. Perhaps it most resembles robust forms of D. hildebrandtii, but is more massive in all its parts. (J. Dransfield and H. Beentje. 1995)/Palmweb. New information acquired.


Cold Hardiness Zone: 10a

Comments and Curiosities

Known only from a single collection, this is a small palm of the forest undergrowth. It most resembles D. hildebrandtii but is larger in all its parts and has a rather congested inflorescence. It is named for the col- lector of the type, Jean Bosser. (J. Dransfield and H. Beentje. 1995).

External Links


Phonetic spelling of Latin names by edric.

Special thanks to Geoff Stein, (Palmbob) for his hundreds of photos.

Special thanks to Palmweb.org, Dr. John Dransfield, Dr. Bill Baker & team, for their volumes of information and photos.

Glossary of Palm Terms; Based on the glossary in Dransfield, J., N.W. Uhl, C.B. Asmussen-Lange, W.J. Baker, M.M. Harley & C.E. Lewis. 2008. Genera Palmarum - Evolution and Classification of the Palms. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. All images copyright of the artists and photographers (see images for credits).

Dransfield, J. & Beentje, H. 1995. The Palms of Madagascar. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and The International Palm Society.
Many Special Thanks to Ed Vaile for his long hours of tireless editing and numerous contributions.

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