An attractive, medium-sized clustering palm from an island off the coast of eastern Africa, the Dypsis pembana is one of the few Dypsis not from Madagascar. This particular palm species is endemic moist lowlands on the island of Pemba in Tanzania, and cannot be found in the wild anywhere else in the world.
The “Pembana Palm” is a clustering palm, and has a pole-like deep green ringed trunk and relatively short, upright leaves with a strong arch near their tips. Mature palms develop a pronounced ‘foot’ (swelling at base of trunk).
It’s conservation status is listed as “Vulnerable” with the IUCN. Numbers are estimated at 3,000, but these are all within a single forest. Palm enthusiasts believe that cultivation of this palm will help its numbers. There are four of this species thriving in the Merwin Palm Forest.
Want to “virtually explore” the Merwin Palm Collection? Search through our archive of Palm Facts of the Week, featuring palms hand-planted by W.S Merwin. To search through the Online Merwin Palm Database, visit this link.
If you’re inspired to help The Merwin Conservancy preserve and care for the world-renowned Merwin Palm Collection into the future, please consider making a tax-deductible donation.