Dypsis decipiens

Source: Drew Avery

Dypsis decipiens

Dypsis decipiens or Manambe Palm is a spectacular palm from the central high plateau of Madagascar.

It is threatened in its habitat but grown all over the world for its striking appearance.


Dypsis decipiens often grows in clusters with 2-3 young shoots at the base but also as solitary. The young shoots grow from the underground stem.

It has a thick trunk semblance of 6-20 m high. The stem is swollen at the base where it can measure 50-70 cm in diameter and narrower at the top, 25-30 cm in diameter. It is gray with leaf scars. The crownshaft is waxy gray-green.

The crown has 9-12 blue-green leaves. They are placed spirally. The sheath is about 70 cm long, light green covered with a white waxy layer, adaxial dark. The petiole is 10-25 cm long, deeply channeled with sharp edges. The rachis is about 2.2 m long, proximal channeled, with whitish tomentum or bald. There are 90 on each side leaf members.

The inflorescence appears between the leaves, strongly curved, branched, about 110 long and 65 cm wide. The flower stalk is 15-17 cm long.

The fruit is a wide ellipsoid or almost spherical, 25 mm long and 20 mm in diameter. The endocarp is very fibrous. The seeds are 10-20 mm long and 11.5 to 18 mm wide, with rounded base and top.


Common name:

Manambe palm


Chrysalidocarpus decipiens, Macrophloga decipiens


Dypsis: not certain, maybe from the Greek dypto (I dive) or dyptes (diver)
Decipiens: from the Latin de and capio (mislead, deceive)




Usually grows in grassland but can also be found at the edge of mountain forests, 1200-1700 m


USDA zone 9-11



Well drained, sandy or rocky


Full sun


Drought resistant: water regularly but moderately during summer and very rarely during winter


Fertilize regularly during growing season


Must be kept in a fresh and dry place during winter: will not resist humid winters although it resists to -5 °C. During winter, keep between 3-10 °C.



Sowing instructions:

  • soak seeds for 1-3 days
  • sow in moist mix
  • 25-35 °C
  • germination time: a few weeks to a few months