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Jeff Searle

Madagascar  Expedition  April 05

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Jeff Searle

In April 2005,Dr. Peter Balasky of South Florida, Bill Beattie of Australia and myself teamed up for a month long trip to Madagascar. This trip took us from the Marojejy Mountains in the Northeast down to the Masoala Peninsula and over to Ile Sainte Marie off the coast. During our trip, we saw over 50 palm species in habitat. Populations of certain species were seen for the first time.  I will be posting several of the photos taken during our trip. The first one here is an awe-inspiring view of the Marojejy Mtns.

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Jeff Searle

1st. day in Antananarivo(Tana), the capital of Madagascar. Up on a hill overlooking the city.

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Jeff Searle

Here in the coastal town of Sambava, we are buying our food for the weeklong climb up the Marojejy Mtns. We bought large quanities of rice, different types of beans, sardines, bread and water. In the photo, from left to right, is Guy our palm botanist/ guide along with Pete and Bill.

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Jeff Searle

Here I am posing with some local children in the village at the foot of the mountains. The villagers are quite curious about us coming through.

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Jeff Searle

This is the first of two river crossings on our way up to the entrance of the Marojejy Park.

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Jeff Searle

We are now at the park entrance after a two hour walk from the village at the base of the mountains. From left to right; Jackson, our park guide, Bill, Guy, and myself.

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Jeff Searle

One of the first palms we saw along the trail was Dypsis spicata. It was quite abundant throughout the lower elevations. With out a flower this and D. catatiana was hard to describe. I believe they can come in split leaf and solid leaf forms.

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Jeff Searle

Looking up into the crown of Dypsis pinnatifrons.

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Jeff Searle

This incredible palm was rare and few in numbers. Our best guess was Dypsis pilulifera or D. tsaravoasira. There were no large specimans with a flower that we could find.

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Jeff Searle

Same palm as above, but a larger speciman.

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Guest

(Jeff Searle @ Jun. 22 2006,22:24)

QUOTE
This incredible palm was rare and few in numbers. Our best guess was Dypsis pilulifera or D. tsaravoasira. There were no large specimans with a flower that we could find.

Bo, is this what your "Orange Crush" looks like?  But I thought that those were not tsaravoasira.  Yet this pic and the next are sooooo orange.  It looks spraypainted at the base!

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Jeff Searle

This is Guy Rafamantanantsoa our guide in action identifying a palm by it's flower spike. Guy formerly helped Dr. John Dransfield on previous trips.

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Jeff Searle

This cool little guy was on his way up to camp #1 also.

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Jeff Searle

A Ravenea species we found, but not quite sure which one. Probably R. sambariensis or R. robustior.

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Jeff Searle

Dypsis baronii over hanging a waterfall near camp #1. There is only one trail that leads up to the summit which is over 2100 meters in elevation. Along the trail, there are three camps that provide sleeping accomodations. Camp #1 or Camp Mantella, was finally reached after a long five hour(unknowingly) climb.

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bgl

Kathy (and Jeff),

yes, good possibility that this is the "Orange crush" Dypsis. I'm going to start a new thread in a little while with some photos of a few different Dypsis with orange crownshafts, just for comparison. I don't want to "pollute" Jeff's thread with non-Madagascar shots...

Bo

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Apologies to Jeff for polluting this thread, as I have been advised by another.  I just thought questions about the photos might be benefit everyone, especially as relates to garden experience with possibly the same species.  And thanks to Bo for starting a new thread!  I probably should have done that....

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Jeff Searle

Dypsis perrieri showing the crown with a large dark brown spathe on right side. These palms were in abundant numbers. Most seed after landing on the ground were infested with tiny weevils.

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Jeff Searle

Dypsis thiryana, was a very rare palm to find on the trail. We saw only eight mature plants with one bearing ripe fruit. Only a handfull of seedlings were found after an extensive search of the area.This palm greatly resembles a small fern, making it very hard to distinguish. This palm is one of only two, known Dypsis species that have praemorse(jagged) leaflets. These beautiful little palms only grow to about 1m. in height.

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Jeff Searle

Dypsis thiryana showing green immature fruit. This species hold very few fruit at any given time.

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Jeff Searle

This sole D. thiryana(the only one found) with ripe fruit. And we searched our you-know-what off !!!

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Jeff Searle

The guy's taking a break.

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Jeff Searle

Looking up at Marojejya insignis. These palms were growing in between Camp#1 and Camp #2. They were fruiting at this time of the year. A large colony of these stunning palms were amazing to look at !

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SubTropicRay

Incredible stuff.  Keep it coming.

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Jeff Searle

Another view looking up.

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Jeff Searle

Say hay Ray,

   Thanks for the nice reply. Now's a good a time as any to say that, this post of our trip as all of you know, was lost to the nuclear blast(as I refer to) about half way through. I've had many people ask me to start all over again and re-post this group of pictures. I was excited to start this topic and hope all will get a good sense and understanding of this beautiful country of Madagascar.

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Jeff Searle

Camp #1. Just hanging around with the cook and some of the porters. All, and I mean all supplies have to be carried up by the porters that live in the village outside the park entrace. And for supper....beans and rice.

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Jeff Searle

These little bungalows were where we slept. Sleeping  was comfortable at night , except for Bill, who by bad luck caught a bad case of the "the bed bug bites". He was covered from head to toes with a red rash that followed him practically the whole trip.

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Jeff Searle

The dining area.

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Jeff Searle

This un-identified Dypsis sp was beautiful. We were all pretty sure that this palm was not Dypsis manajarensis. In the POM book, it is not recored growing in this region. Also the white markings or scales were not raised. On our most recent trip this past April, we found the true specie, D. manajarensis. It is very different and much more colorful. I will post some extraordinary pictures soon under another topic.

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Jeff Searle

Taking a break on the trail.

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Jeff Searle

A beautiful red emerging leaf on Dypsis catatiana "Entire Leaf Form" we think, just not sure.

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Jeff Searle

This is Dypsis catatiana we think. There were hundreds of these plants growing all along the trail. Many were fruiting this time of the year.

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Jeff Searle

This rare palm is Dypsis marojejyi, the Madagascar Foxtail growing in between Camp#2 and #3. There were very few of these palms that we could find and are known only to come from this mountain region. This is an extreamly rare find and even more so in cultivation. It has grouped leaflets, which seperates it from D. perreri, a close litter trapping cousin.

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Jeff Searle

Does anyone want to attempt to i.d. this plant ?? It looked like some sort of Impatient plant relative.(??)

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Jeff Searle

A staghorn specie growing at high elevations near Camp #3. Approx. 1800-2000m elevation here. I belive this might be Plat. madagascarence. Does anyone know ?

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Jeff Searle

This beautiful palm is Dypsis andrianatonga growing up near Camp #3. Does anyone know of one growing in cultivation ?

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Jeff Searle

Another growing near the trail.

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Jeff Searle

Dave,

  Thanks..I still have many interesting pitures to post from this trip. Yes, the bugs were no problems.

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JEFF from Trabuco Canyon CA

Jeff, Thanks for spending the time posting these great pictures.

Jeff

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