Jump to content
bruno

Borassus or Corypha in madagascar?

Recommended Posts

bruno

Matt in SD said at first this was a borassus, then seeing the flower, he said definitely not!

A firend of mine came here a few days ago and talked about this palm. That friend lives 150 Km north of Mahajanga, west coast of madagascar. He saw it in a geological site called "tsingy" in malagasy, karstic ruins... This palm is known locally as a "dimbaka".

It is enormous like a corypha but no roads go to that place, that can be reached by plane only or by boat. So, my asumption is that it cannot be an imported corypha. So, is it a Borassus?

Screen Shot 2020-05-30 at 12.40.35 PM.jpg

  • Like 1
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
cfkingfish

It is a Corypha, possibly C. utan with the blunt leaftlet termination.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
bruno

So you think there are native coryphas in Madagascar?

Screen Shot 2020-05-30 at 1.14.51 PM.jpg

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
bruno

Here is a close up of the flowers.

Tahina for Dean (dragged) copy.jpg

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
bruno

Another dimbaka in another corridor of the tsingy.

palmierganttsingy2.jpg

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Matt in SD

Bruno,

I'm glad you posted a new topic on this one.  It seems very interesting to me at least.  It seems hard to believe that a Corypha could have been overlooked in Madagascar all these years.  There is really no doubt that that palm is a Corypha.  Now the real questions are how they got there, what species they are, are they native...and finally...will they grow in California  :P

Matt

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jeff Searle

(bruno @ Dec. 05 2006,11:39)

QUOTE
So you think there are native coryphas in Madagascar?

Screen Shot 2020-05-30 at 1.14.51 PM.jpg

Bruno,

   No, I don't think Corypha is native to Madagascar.  So the question is, how did a few plants start naturalizing in a remote area? There must be villagers that live close by. My guess is a few seed were brought into the area at one time.

Jeff

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
bruno

OK I'll check with my firend and take a trip there some time next year. I will try and have other pictures taken by him.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
kylecawazafla

Madagascar definitely surprised me! The palm in the first photo looks a lot like a Corypha umbraculifera to me, only smaller. How many were there? Were there any dead ones, or did they all appear to be first generation?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
neoflora

Just a thought! Could it be the green Bismarkia? To me the pictures look like it as well.  Thanks, Ron

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
JD in the OC

Ron, That's what came to mind when I first saw the pictures.  But, bismarks don't have a terminal inflorescence (at least none that we know of do).

JD

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Kris

Dear Bruno  :)

On one ocassion even i had a doubt on a fan palm

that my navy friend shot few pictures from the

island of marutious & SeaShylles.

the fan leaf is as glossy as ordinary sabal Sp,but

the resemblence stops there but the size of the

fan leaf is so huge that a normal sized person can

sleep in it.and the dried leaves of this palm that was

lying on the ground also look very abromal.

Many of our members had hinted that it should be

corypha_Tailpot palms.but after seeing the tailpot palms

in members pictures & in Rps.what i saw in those friends

still was nothing of common types that are avaliable for

sale.

But i promise that next time when he is in india i will see to

it that i will up load those fan palm stills for the benifit of our

members.

So what iam saying here is that your palm could also be some

rare or hybrid variety.But my wild guess is your still is Borassus of some kind.  :)

Thanks for that rare palm still.

Love,

Kris.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
bruno

Here is a picture of the leaf base of that corypha. I read on internet that corypha makes a flower and then dies. It can be then between 50 and 100 years old. My friend xavier said that it seemed like there were no more head on the palm! so that maybe it.

Jeff wonders how a corypha came to madagascar? You must have noticed how the people from the high plateaux look like south asians: Indonesians and Malaysians. In fact they originally came from there, when? No proof of anything between 1000 and 600 years ago. So they "may" have brought a few seeds with them! But why would they land on the west coast instead of the east? looking at a map, it sounds "closer"!  All the pacific ocean was populated that way. i'm glad I was not myself on the ocean at the time on one of those small pirogues...

Dimbakadtailduhautdutronc.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ortanique

Yes, Corypha, like Caryota, is monocarpic. They flower once and die. The interesting thing is that the infloresence in it is full glory is taller than, say, some understory palms and a sight to see.

On a recent trip to India i saw one of these - and the view was simply breathtaking. I could not get near the tree - but the view from distance was all i needed - to appreciate the palm.

As for how Corypha got to Madagascar - i can never tell - but like Bruno says - it could be brought in by migrants or another 19th/20th century palmaholic/botanist. I know because - 20 years from today if you see an adult  Joey altifrons or Pelagadoxa in Madagascar   - i will be personally guilty of that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
bruno

Joseph, where did you commit that? bruno

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ortanique

Bruno,

If you are referring to the crime - they were committed in Tana and Masoala. :-) Those were just the two big ones. Several more species will also come up as the years go by :-) Dont want to break the surprise yet.

joseph

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
John Dransfield

Matt alerted me to this thread which I might otherwise have missed. All the evidence provided in your pictures, Bruno, suggests that the palm is Corypha. This then raises several questions.

1. What species is it? I am unsure of this at present. The white almost waxy looking sheaths do not suggest C. utan or C. umbraculifera to me and I am also rather surprised by the margins of the petiole/sheath which tatters in a way I do not associate with Coryphas known to me.

2. Is it native? If it were native, this would be absolutely astonishing. But it would by no means be the only plant genus shared with SE ASia (think of Nepenthes and Orania). The point is that it is growing in tsingy, a truly nasty habitat for humans - knife sharp limestone pinnacles and deep crivices - it's spectacular but no one historically would have dreamed of settling in an area of tsingy - that doesn't make sense. This would seem to argue for its being native.

3. If it is introduced, where did it come from and why? We'll need to know the species first. The nearest Corypha I know would be in Seychelles where C. umbraculifera was planted in the Victoria Botanic Garden on Mahe. But this doesn't answer the question of why anyone would want to plant this palm in such a remote and difficult habitat. When Matt told me, my first reactyion was to think that the palm had been introduced during French colonial days and had flowered and regenerated, but that would have been easier to comprehend if the habitat was near a village or an old agricultural station.

Bruno, I think this is a really fantastic find. I supervise a student in the University in Tana who is analysing palm distributions in Madagascar, using GIS techniques. He has been doing a lot of fieldwork and finding astonishing new palms. Those of you who are members of IPS will see these described and featured in due course in our journal PALMS. It would be really excellent if he could contact you so as to be able to make full scientific collections of the palm, including DNA to analyse, to confrim the identity.

John

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
John Dransfield

By the way, I was seriously appalled by the news in this thread that someone has been planting exotic palms in Masoala. I hope this was not in a natural habitat - we don't need this - Madagascar is so full fo wonderful palms.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
chris.oz

(John Dransfield @ Dec. 07 2006,04:05)

QUOTE
Matt alerted me to this thread which I might otherwise have missed. All the evidence provided in your pictures, Bruno, suggests that the palm is Corypha. This then raises several questions.

Bruno, I think this is a really fantastic find. I supervise a student in the University in Tana who is analysing palm distributions in Madagascar, using GIS techniques. He has been doing a lot of fieldwork and finding astonishing new palms. Those of you who are members of IPS will see these described and featured in due course in our journal PALMS. It would be really excellent if he could contact you so as to be able to make full scientific collections of the palm, including DNA to analyse, to confrim the identity.

John

Maybe if there is undisturbed soil, also take a soil core sample near where the palms are growing, to see if the pollen can be detected in earlier layers ?  Should see a layer of corypha pollen every 80-100 or so years !

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
John Dransfield

That's a good idea (taking a soil pollen core)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dypsisdean

(John Dransfield @ Dec. 06 2006,23:05)

QUOTE
I supervise a student in the University in Tana who is analysing palm distributions in Madagascar, using GIS techniques. He has been doing a lot of fieldwork and finding astonishing new palms. Those of you who are members of IPS will see these described and featured in due course in our journal PALMS.

One of several excellent reasons for those who are not members of the IPS to write a small check and become one. The PALMS Journal has been improving with each issue.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
bruno

John ,

I will put your student in contact with my friend, he will take all the samples needed, as I am not a scientifically oriented person...

There is, though, a real problem getting to that place in the rainy season because the airstrip, for small planes, cannot be used.

It looks like we are all very excited about this. bruno

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
bruno

A few more pics from dimbaka corypha .

dimbakecoryphafeuillesdepalmiergant.jpg

dimbakadtaildelafeuille3.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Carlo Morici

How interesting, and beautiful! How many Dimbaka did you see, Bruno?

Is there a good sized population or are they just a few "survivors"?

Are there any spines on the petiole?

Do they live just at the bottom of the tsingys or ON the tsingys too?

Carlo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Utopia Palms

(bruno @ Dec. 06 2006,12:03)

QUOTE
Here is a picture of the leaf base of that corypha. I read on internet that corypha makes a flower and then dies. It can be then between 50 and 100 years old. My friend xavier said that it seemed like there were no more head on the palm! so that maybe it.

Jeff wonders how a corypha came to madagascar? You must have noticed how the people from the high plateaux look like south asians: Indonesians and Malaysians. In fact they originally came from there, when? No proof of anything between 1000 and 600 years ago. So they "may" have brought a few seeds with them! But why would they land on the west coast instead of the east? looking at a map, it sounds "closer"!  All the pacific ocean was populated that way. i'm glad I was not myself on the ocean at the time on one of those small pirogues...

Dimbakadtailduhautdutronc.jpg

Hi all, This great photo has been in my head now for many days,the reason is that it seems to be " unarmed" I cannot think of any other Corypha's that are not armed? The leaf base on this corypha look more like a "giant" bismarkia leaf base! Does anyone know of any other corypha sp that are not armed? ???  I think this is quite different . Clayton

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Matt in SD

Clayton,

I had the exact same thoght today about these photos.  Maybe I'm just hoping for excitement, but I have a feeling that when all is said and done, this may be a new genus altogether.  

Another thought I had about these is whether people have come across these before, but when none were in bloom, and just thought that they were either Borassus or Bismarkia.  While they don't look exactly like either of those, I think that from a bit of a distance, they might not entice a palm enthusiast to climb the hill for a closer look.  Also, the name Bruno has given "dimbaka" is pretty close to the local name for Borassus listed in Palms of Madagascar "dimaka".  

Either way this will be a very fun development to follow.

Matt

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Alan_Tampa

I am calling it now:  this will turn out to be a new species of palm, nay, a new genus of palm once properly described.

If I am wrong - woopty doo. (the sarcastic one)

If I am right - WOOPTY DOO! (the peed my pants one)

Don't forget I said this on this date at this time 0109 December 13, 2006

I called the Bucs winning the Super Bowl way back after that year's first game and no one remembers so this time I am making a notation in 1s and 0s.

Alan

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Utopia Palms

Good one Matt.   I'm glad somone picked this up             I'm sure John and Jeff, just forgot to mention about this!!     It does look to me like it will be at least a new sp and may be even a new genus lets hope that the botanist put a good name on this one :D  Clayton

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
JD in the OC

Has anyone considered Satranala decussilvae?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Zac in NC

Wow, I missed this thread, but wow, thats pretty freaking awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Here's hoping to a new genera and species.

Zac

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jeff Searle

By the looks of the pictures in the beginning, this palm seems to be monocarpic , right? The flower spike does appear to be growing straight up and out of the center. Does this not rule out  Bismarckia and Satranala? I'm baffled! ???

Jeff

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Zac in NC

Ok, I have looked at the inflorescence pictures and compared them to the pics of Corypha in Riffle and Craft and I think, IMHO, that there are some slight differences in appearance in that inflo. It would appear that it is allied to Coryphas. The unarmed petioles seems to be a mystery to me. If it was April 1, I would be skeptical, since we've had jokes before, but this is no joke. But I am by no means an expert. Just some ramblings of a young palm enthusiast.

Zac

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Matt in SD

Yes Jeff, the terminal inflorescence rules out all palmate palms known to grow on the island as far as I know.

Regarding Zac's point about April 1st (i.e. is this a joke?) I have to say I wondered at some point whether it was possible that the photos of the palms, and the photos of the inflorescence were maybe from different plants.  For starters, I completely trust that Bruno is not just playing with us.  But also, look at all the photos of the mature palms...not a single inflorescence/infructescence visible on any of those palms.  

Also I have to say that the palm does look very much like a Bismarkia, so as I said before, I wouldn't be at all surprised if these have been stumbled upon before by explorers, palm enthusiasts, who thought that they were Bismarkias.  Without seeing that terminal inflorescence (which is obviously a pretty rare event) I certainly would have assumed that these were a form of Bismarkia.

Matt

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MattyB

How about Brunoshia madagascarensis or Brunusta robusta?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Utopia Palms

Hi there all,

Yes Jeff, the terminal inflorescence does rule out bismarkia and satranala totaly impossible! Madagascar is an amazing island with surprises around every corner,this is just another one of those totally unexpected great suprise!!How many more suprises can this little island come up with ??But its great for all of us palm nuts...Clayton

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Gileno Machado

(John Dransfield @ Dec. 07 2006,05:06)

QUOTE
By the way, I was seriously appalled by the news in this thread that someone has been planting exotic palms in Masoala. I hope this was not in a natural habitat - we don't need this - Madagascar is so full fo wonderful palms.

I have a great respect for the botanic research work and preservation efforts and I can perfectly understand the justified concern about the disturbance of natural preserved habitats with exotic introduced species, especially if there's a risk of this getting out of control in the future. I just can't quite understand why collectors and admirers should not introduce nice cultivated palms, like Joeys, in towns of Madagascar or New Caledonia, for instance. Isn't it an excessive precaution policy?

So, are there places in the world that should be treated forever as exclusive donors of genetic plant material while others could perfectly host an enormous variety of exotic species, for either recreational, agricultural or scientific research purposes? Let's think about the Canary Islands and the Palmetum. Are the native Phoenix under a serious threat there and the exotics should all be eliminated? How about Cuba and the Dominican Republic?? Does anyone

recriminate Cel. Montgomery for his decisions on introducing Veitchias and Bottles into the heart of the sabal land? I'd love to hear more opinions on this subject, especially considering that I have been trying to cultivate many new species here from seed as an amateur gardener and this issue has frequently come to my mind...My main concern used to be the chance of bringing unexisting diseases like lethal yellowing but Bob Riffle once wrote me that I shouldn't worry about that because treated seeds could not be considered a possible vector for the speading of it...

Teasing a bit more: Should Madagascar cultivation be forever condemned to the boredom of Dypsis, Raveneas, etc, even outside of the National parks?  :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ortanique

Gileno,

You have a valid point there.

But i have to agree with Dr. Dransfield in his observation. I would be equally concerned if foreign species were to be introduced into an otherwise pristine, species rich environment - something specially like Madagascar. Of course, there are several such places - including the Amazon, PNG/Irian Jaya and other places that are as botanically interesting and fragile.

I am not a botanist - but can only guess some of the reasons as to why introduction of non-native species should be of concern.

One of the primary concerns for most botanists, and Ag departments all over the world is when a non-native species starts establishing itself at the cost of a native species. There are tons of examples of this behaviour in modern botany - so much so - that a new category of plants have come up - fondly referred to as Noxious Weeds. While i have not heard of many palms that can be classified as noxious weeds - the term can certainly be attributed to many trees, bushes and plants. Most common example that comes to mind is Cinnamomum camphora - the Camphor tree. It spreads so quickly and mercilessly takes over a forest/garden - that soon the native species starts taking a toll. I am sure at some point in time Washies and Phoenix's also might be elevated to that notoriety.

So - Dr. Dransfield has a valid concern one that should be appreciated and looked at in the right light.

That having been said - the seeds my customr purchased were for her private collection - and the quantities were so small - i would wonder if after getting them to germinate - if she would have enough to even showcase in her garden. And four species at that. So my concern is not really if the seeds out of her palms (after 10 to 15 years) will really escape cultivation and pose a threat to pristine forests of Masola - if it even exists after 15 years.

But that notwithstanding - we should be cognizant of such a possibility and behave responsibly. Of course, people in any part of the world - have a right to acquire palms and other plants - specially those that do not occur in their country. Thats what "rare" is all about.  But what would help is to be responsible enough to keep the collection private and ensure that it stays within limits and there is no willful introduction of non-native species in natural environments or forests.

The other big reason is the possible introduction of diseases from non-native species. The consoling factors there like you said are that treated seeds - pose less of a risk. But most known palm pests and diseases are already prevelant in Madagascar - i only know it too well - as the frequent recipeint of USDA's EAN (Emergency Action Notification) - a form that comes in place of 1000s of dollars worth of palm seeds that get burnt when they find a bug or traces of it. I am glad USDA is doing that - even though it hurts the bottomline. At least, i know that i am not bringing in stuff that is contaminated.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dave-Vero

Ortanique,

Thanks for your comments.  One complicating factor is that islands tend to be especially vulnerable to invasion by exotic species.  Islands also tend to be evolutionary playgrounds.  In big land areas (say, the Amazon), there are very stong ecological forces that discourage rapid evolution (believe it or not).  Islands, with relatively few initial colonizers, or long-isolated from mainlands, are places where new and remarkable species can evolve.  Dypsis is a prime example!

Madagascar and New Caledonia are such fantastic botanical wonderlands that it makes good sense to be highly selective about introducing non-native ornamental plants.  And, of course, to take pride in the native flora.  

Southern Florida is in some ways an ecological island and is vulnerable to exotic pest plants, but the locals in Miami-Dade County, especially, have a very good sense of which exotics are appropriate, and which aren't.  It's good landscaping practice to create something similar to a natural tropical hardwood thicket (hammock in Florida terminology, perhaps "coppice" in the Bahamas) with the trees and large shrubs being almost all native, or fruit trees.  I'm thinking of the approach taken by Georgia Tasker of the Miami Herald (her book's available from Fairchild).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...