Endemic to the northeastern areas of Madagascar, between Ampasimanolotra and Daraina, the Dypsis lastelliana is one of the most common palms in the lowland forest in this area, found on slopes, or near water, in ravines, and also in coastal forests on white sand up to 1200 feet in elevation. It is robust enough to persist in disturbed parts of Madagascar, which are unfortunately becoming more common. Although there are known threats to this tree’s habitat, given its large range, fairly large population size and its apparent tolerance of some disturbance, this species is listed as Least Concern with the IUCN Red List.
Often confused with another palm also known as the “Teddy Bear Palm”, Dypsis leptocheilos, the Dypsis lastelliana palm displays a more vivid crown-shaft coloring, and is a much, much slower grower.
There are 3 of this palm species growing in the Merwin Palm Collection.
The name “Lastelliana” honors the original collector, de Lastellé.
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.
Featured photo by Larry Cameron, from the book What is a Garden? by W.S. Merwin.