A beautiful new species of palm discovered by Kew botanists in Madagascar’s newest protected area.
About this Species
Dypsis ankirindro is a beautiful new species of slender palm discovered during collaborative fieldwork by botanists from Kew and Madagascar in 2007. It was officially named and described in 2009 along with four other new species from the vicinity of Madagascar’s newest protected area, Makira, in the north-east of the island. It occurs most abundantly on the summits of mountains within the reserve. Over 20 new species of palm from Madagascar have been described by Kew botanists in 2009.
Geography & Distribution
This species occurs in northeast Madagascar, and is known from two mountains in the eastern central part of the Makira protected area.
Dypsis ankirindro (Image: William Baker, RBG Kew)
This slender palm forms clumps of stems, each up to 5 m in height and 3 cm in diameter. Each stem bears up to seven leaves in a shuttlecock-like crown. The leaves are almost 1 m in length and bear 20 to 40 elliptical leaflets with drip tips.
The flowers are crowded on stout inflorescences; these are attached directly to the stem below the crown of leaves and are up to 20 cm long.
The fruits and seeds have not yet been observed.
Threats & Conservation
Populations of this palm are restricted to the summits of mountains in the central eastern part of Makira (Ankirindro and Beanivona). There are relatively low numbers of individuals, but isolation and difficult access currently decrease the risk of extinction of this species. These populations also occur within the Makira protected area, the largest protected area in Madagascar. There appear to be no specific human uses that might lead to pressure on existing populations. The impacts of climate change on the species and the forests in which it occurs are hard to assess at this time.
Where to see this at Kew
Scientific specimens of this new species are stored in Kew’s herbarium (where they are accessible by appointment to bona fide researchers).
Find out more about Dypsis ankirindro and the work being done in Madagascar at the following sites:
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