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Dr. John Dransfield visits the Big Island

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bgl

Dr. John Dransfield, co-editor of PALMS, the IPS Journal, has been on the Big Island since last week, and for the last few days John and his delightful wife, Soejatmi, have been our guests. Yesterday I set a personal record, when John and I went for an eight hour garden tour here. And wishing we had had more time! John kindly offered his opinion on a multitude of palms, and I was taking notes as fast as I could! I'm going to post a number of John's comments, as well as photos taken by me (in our garden and at Floribunda Palms earlier today). Not quite sure how many photos that are good enough to be posted, but I intend to post them all tonight, but not necessarily within the next half hour or so. I'll make it known when I'm posting the last one.

First - here's John in front of a group of Dransfieldii micrantha at Floribunda Palms this morning. Seemed like an appropriate beginning to this thread!

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bgl

Nothing new, but still a great looking palm: John Dransfield and Jeff Marcus are leaving this Lemurophoenix halleuxii for the next exciting palm. The Lemurophoenix just opened up a new frond. Very impressive!

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bgl

And the next exciting palm is this Dypsis. On my most recent visit to Floribunda I took a photo of this palm and posted it under the name Dypsis hovomantsina. However, according to John this is probably not D. hovomantsina. Its true ID is a mystery! (Incidentally, John is fairly certain that there's a true Dypsis hovomantsina in the Sullivan garden in Kapoho).

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bgl

Here's another "not" palm. This has been referred to as the Dypsis sp. dark mealybug, and the name Dypsis ovobontsira has been mentioned recently on quite a few occasions. This is NOT D. ovobontsira. Again, what it really is, well, we don't know...! (This one is taken in our garden). We'll have to wait for flowers before a positive ID can be made.

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bgl

This one, between John and Jeff, has been referred to as Dypsis hildebrandtii. John identified it as Dypsis bosseri.

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bgl

The famous Madagascar foxtail, with John and Jeff for scale. Actually there are two "foxtails" in this photo, planted close together. We now know its true ID, but there's still some work being done. Watch this space....!

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deezpalms

Nice pictures Bo! Looks like some mysteries have/will be solved for once!

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bgl

Dave - yes, there's more to come, and some is definitely good news!

Here are two Dypsis at Floribunda. Both were referred to as Dypsis sp. mealybug, and then assumed to be Dypsis mananjarensis. John ruled out this as a possibility, and also felt that the two palms may, in fact, be two different species. The one on the left is a definite unknown. The one on the right is possibly Dypsis malcomberi.

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bgl

No controversery here, but still a great looking palm: Jeff and John are enjoying the impressive presence of Jeff's Dypsis robusta.

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bgl

Still a definite mystery: Dypsis sp. white

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bgl

This is the Dypsis sp. Jurassic Park (that was sold under the very incorrect name of D. sahanofensis more than ten years ago). "Jurassic Park" is POSSIBLY Dypsis tokoravina.

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bgl

And another one that still a mystery: Dypsis sp. bef. (I should mention that I just went back and edited a couple of comments in some of the earlier posts).

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bgl

I bought these two palms from Hawaii Palm Company in Nov 1997 under the name Dypsis ceracea. (Their source was Floribunda). In 2001, it was "decided" that these palms were NOT D. ceracea, but in all likelihood Dypsis nauseosa, and that's how they have been known. Until yesterday! :)

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bgl

And yesterday John Dransfield identified this palm as Dypsis tsaravoasira! :) Here he is next to another one in our garden. I planted this one in June 2000 from a 5G pot. These are relatively fast growers.

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jdapalms

Bo,

Nice pictures as usual, sounds like a lot of name adjustments are happening but yet still some mysteries.

I can't wait to get back to Hawaii, I missed out on all of the fun. What did John say about Dypsis Sp. Hawaiian Punch and D. Orange Crush?

Jerry

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ellidro
And yesterday John Dransfield identified this palm as Dypsis tsaravoasira! :) Here he is next to another one in our garden. I planted this one in June 2000 from a 5G pot. These are relatively fast growers.

Bo amazing pics and great info! What were you calling the palm John Dransfield identified as Tsaravoasira?

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LJG

Oh, just great. How long do we have to wait for 'Matt in SD' to come here and say "I told you so"?

And the next exciting palm is this Dypsis. On my most recent visit to Floribunda I took a photo of this palm and posted it under the name Dypsis hovomantsina. However, according to John this is probably not D. hovomantsina. Its true ID is a mystery! (Incidentally, John is fairly certain that there's a true Dypsis hovomantsina in the Sullivan garden in Kapoho).

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Matt in SD

Actually Len,

You'll wait a while. In a recent thread, I had pressed Bill Beattie about this palm and he said that he had grown palms from seed from Dypsis hovomantsina (which is an easily recognizable palm when mature) that I believe he collected himself and it turns out like the palm at Jeff's place when young. It later goes plumose according to Bill. So I would venture that it's possible that JD is wrong about this one, possibly he has not seen juvenile plants? Or maybe Bill is wrong. Anyways, I have no idea.

I have to say that the 'jurassic park' = tokoravina and the cerecea turned nauseosa = tsaravoasira seem like solid IDs based on the photos I've looked at.

Great thread Bo. I bet Jeff was in heaven to finally have John look at his stuff. I didn't want to break up your thread before you finished posting photos, but since everyone else is doing it...

Oh yeah, and that Lemur is hands down the most ridiculously awesome palm on the planet. It has surpassed Lodoicea in my book.

Matt

edit... yes Bo I mistyped

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BS Man about Palms

More,more,more,more.... :drool:

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bgl

Guys,

I don't mind interruptions. I just had to grab a bite to eat! :) Jerry, be patient.... And Nick, see above: the palm that was sold as Dypsis ceracea in 1996, became known as D. nauseosa in 2001, and JD has now identified it as D. tsaravoasira. And Matt, I don't know if that was a mistake on your part, but JD believes that Jurassic park is probably Dypsis tokoravina. See above.

Here's one that may not be quite as exciting, but still a useful confirmation. I bought a bunch of palms in 4 inch pots from Floribunda in 1996 under the Dypsis perrieri name. After a few years, there were doubts whether this name was indeed correct. Today, some are singles and some are doubles. JD confirmed that they are indeed Dypsis perrieri. The one on the left is one that JD confirmed as D. perrieri. The one on the right is another palm I bought from Floribunda in 1998, but under the name Dypsis sp. lafa. JD thinks it MAY be a robust form of D. perrieri. Whatever it is, it's in the Vonitra group.

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bgl

We'll deviate here a bit: this is a true Beccariophoenix madagascariensis. It has no windows. The Beccariophoenix WITH windows is NOT B. madagascariensis, and apparently we don't have a valid name for that one yet. And B. alfredii is a third species.

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bgl

Dypsis sp. neophloga pink crownshaft/Hawaiian punch: this is definitely not D. pinnatifrons. Some work is still being done, but JD has the name - watch this space... :)

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bgl

Dypsis sp. florencei: JD has positively identified this as Dypsis paludosa.

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bgl

John and Soejatmi in front of some of our Dypsis sp. bejofa. JD is convinced that there are clearly TWO distinct Dypsis bejofo/sp. bejofa/bijouf species, but uncertain which one is which. Both apparently have brain shaped seeds. Stay tuned...

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mike in kurtistown

Bo,

Assuming Dr. Dransfield is still available, and if you have a chance, could you query him on the subject of Beccariophoenix? Are there any recent news about this genus? To summarize what I think I know: There is an "few windows" form, called B. madagascariensis that is found in a southern location ("southern form") and a highland location. The differences between these is the length of the peduncle. Then, there is B. alfredii, also a "few windows" form, and also found in the highlands. What are the morphological differences between madagascariensis and alfredii? Then, there is the "big windows" form found on the east coast, which still does not have a name. Is this waiting on collection of more material?

Then again, in his talk, Dr. Dransfield mentioned finding a Beccariophoenix off the road between Tana and the east coast. Was this the discovery of another population of the "big windows" form? Or another new species? I thought he said it had big windows.

BTW, Dr. Dransfield gave one of the most interesting talks I have heard in a while. Many thanks to him.

MM

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bgl

Mike,

No, not going to see JD again, and he'll be heading back to the UK soon, but I'm sure he'll add his comments here when he gets a chance. About Beccariophoenix, my understanding is this:

Three species:

1) the one with windows, which has been commonly grown for a long time under the B. madagascariensis name. BUT, this is NOT B. madagascariensis. No valid name yet.

2) the true B. madagascariensis, which has no windows. The one in my photo above. These became available in 2000. (I bought the one above in July 2000 in a 1G pot from Floribunda).

3) B. alfredii, which (I understand) did not become available until around 2002.

And of course we have to cover Dypsis sp. orange crush! JD looked very carefully at these and feels that the variation that exists fits within the species Dypsis pilulifera. However, he is bringing a DNA sample back with him to the UK, for further analysis and hopefully confirmation. Here I am with John and a group of Dypsis pilulifera in the background.

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bgl

And, the last photo: John and Soejatmi by our driveway.

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Dave-Vero

A great British systematlist visiting Madagascar's fabulous diversity on a remote North Pacific island. I guess no odder than Latin Americans visiting Miami's fantastic collections of mango and avocado germplasm.

Wonderful photos, even more intriguing captions!

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rafiki
Actually Len,

You'll wait a while. In a recent thread, I had pressed Bill Beattie about this palm and he said that he had grown palms from seed from Dypsis hovomantsina (which is an easily recognizable palm when mature) that I believe he collected himself and it turns out like the palm at Jeff's place when young. It later goes plumose according to Bill. So I would venture that it's possible that JD is wrong about this one, possibly he has not seen juvenile plants? Or maybe Bill is wrong. Anyways, I have no idea.

I have to say that the 'jurassic park' = tokoravina and the cerecea turned nauseosa = tsaravoasira seem like solid IDs based on the photos I've looked at.

Great thread Bo. I bet Jeff was in heaven to finally have John look at his stuff. I didn't want to break up your thread before you finished posting photos, but since everyone else is doing it...

Oh yeah, and that Lemur is hands down the most ridiculously awesome palm on the planet. It has surpassed Lodoicea in my book.

Matt

edit... yes Bo I mistyped

Great stuff Bo and others! A bit like Matt, I have my reservations about naming Dypsis before they are mature but I know Jeff is having the time of his life ...at last some reward for the remarkable work he has done!

Alternative theories on some of the id's as follows:

Dypsis sp. Jurassic Park as D. tokoravina. Yes...most of them are but others are not! D. tokoravina is easy to id as the leaf sheaths are grossly swollen but other seeds were in the mix and these will not be indentified until the palms are much larger.

All the Dypsis sp. 'bef' I have grown out have keyed to the northern plateau form of D. onilahensis. Am looking forward to more on this introduction.

Dypsis 'ceracea' as D. tsaravoasira? Either others got different seed but what I do know is that the 'ceracea' in Oz had 14x12mm seed (from early notes) and D. tsaravoasira seed is tiny (like D. mananjarensis)...4-5mm. The real puzzle is the D. tsaravoasira. We have made 4 visits to Masoala and still cannot be sure we have seen or collected it. Certainly the few seed we have found are the correct size but the rest of the description does not fit!

Nevertheless...life goes on and time will tell! For me this is a fascinating thread and I look forward to all other's comments!

Cheers! Bill.

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Walter John

Dypsis pilulifera, I think Clayton and Mikey said that ages ago. Look forward to the name of the windows beccariophoenix and the pink crownshaft Dypsis, isn't it good we slowly banish these retail/marketing names to get the real names.

Nice work Bo, thanks for the inside info.

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Neofolis

I can imagine mixed emotions. The joy of having Dr.Dransfield visit and get positive ID's on various species. Then the thought of the time and cost of re-labelling everything.

Either way, what a great person to take on a tour and what great places for John to be able to visit.

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Gbarce

For those commenting that its been kind of slow in the forum lately-- this is the kind of theread that will stir up a LOT of activity.

Can't wait!!!! MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Gtlevine

Fantastic Bo!

One observation, the changing of Dypsis Nauseosa to Dypsis Tsarovirasira makes total sense. When I was in Madagascar I found the same stands of Dypsis Nauseosa as shown in POM. They were on a hill above where I saw Dypsis Ifanadianae and they were totally different than what everyone was growing as Nauseosa. I kept thinking that the difference was do to age, but yours in Hawaii are getting quite large and still don't look like the Nauseosa in Madagascar so the change in ID makes perfect sense. Did JD make any comments on Jeff Marcus palm known as Dypsis "Big Curly"? This is one of my favorites and grows wonderfully in So Cal, I would like to get an ID on that one.

Gary

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Jeff Searle

Bo,

Thanks for giving us all some updates. I'm sure John was quite impressed with yours and Jeff's collections. Probably more than he expected.

I'm surprised to hear that the Dypsis sp. Pink Crown might not be a D. pinnatifrons after all. And the information on the different Beccariophoenix species. When it's all said and done, I can see quite a few changes and lots of un-answered questions being cleared up. Thanks for the pictures and updates.

Jeff

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Gtlevine

One other thing Bo, the ID of Jurrasic Park as Tokoravina makes no sense. The Tokoravina in POM has as the most distinctive feature the crownshaft that is bent towards the base so it appears like a seam, Jurrasic park does not exhibit this. It also has different looking leaves and and no where near the reddish brown scaling that Tokoravina has, so I am unsure on that as a possibility.

Gary

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ellidro

Bo,

I'm sure you will be bombarded with questions about this thread but if you have time, do you remember John Dransfield mentioning anything about the two different looking Dypsis Saintlucei at Jeff's place?

Thanks,

Nick

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Kim

Great information and photos. Eight hour tour? My brain would have melted down after the first 2 hours! Any further comments as to how he reached these conclusions? Definitive identifying characteristics?

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BS Man about Palms

Bo- were most of John's comments along the lines of "this is definately this palm"..... or more like "it might be this palm, I'll have to do more checking and get back to you.".... or both?

Also, were you using a book and keying out as you went, or more from "expert recollection". (Which I suspect is highly valid)

Who knows what I have now... :D

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BS Man about Palms
Great information and photos. Eight hour tour? My brain would have melted down after the first 2 hours! Any further comments as to how he reached these conclusions? Definitive identifying characteristics?

Actually, thats about my favorite speed, FULL IMMERSION!

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Matt in SD
Bo- were most of John's comments along the lines of "this is definately this palm"..... or more like "it might be this palm, I'll have to do more checking and get back to you.".... or both?

Also, were you using a book and keying out as you went, or more from "expert recollection". (Which I suspect is highly valid)

Who knows what I have now... :D

I'm curious about this as well. While JD is clearly a world class systematologist, I don't know that he would even claim to have special powers at identifying palms by sight in the absence of flowers, or particularly immature species. I'm sure there are cases where he has seen palms in habitat and "knows" them well enough to make a sure call, but I would imagine that some of these other IDs are his best guesses. I would actually like to hear JD's feeling on how solid his visual IDs on some of these are relative to disagreements from Jeff, Bill, Clayton, Mikey, Gary, and others that have also been to Madagascar and have a lot of first hand growing experience. I'm not trying to challenge or be rude, but would just really love to know the confidence level in each of these IDs. I'm sure there is a wide variation in confidence for these.

Gary, I had always noticed 'jurassic park' having a very strange, bulging crown. It looks like it's about to crack off of the trunk at any moment. In the photos of tokoravina this also seems to be the case and it's pretty unusual. I'm not saying you're wrong, but it seemed like a pretty good guess to me.

Matt

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