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Dypsis decaryi

Family Name: Arecaceae (Palmae)
Synonyms: Neodypsis decaryi
Common Name: Triangle Palm, Three-ranked Palm, Triangular Palm, Three-cornered Palm, Three-sided Palm, 'Laafa', 三角椰子
Full Sun: 6-8h Moderate Water Roadside Tree / Palm Single Obvious Trunk Palm


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Status (botanical)
Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Monocotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Palm (Solitary Palm)
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Maximum Height 15 m


Native Distribution Madagascar

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form A solitary, uniquely-looking, moderately fast-growing, drought tolerant, medium-sized palm with arching pinnate (feather-like) fronds arranged in three distinct vertical rows and overlapping leaf-bases, forming a triangle at the top of the trunk.
Trunk Trunk solitary, round, up to 0.3 m in diamater, brownish-grey, prominentlt ringed with old leaf scars.
Foliage Fronds pinnate, bluish-green to silvery-green, tristichously (arranged arranged in three rows or ranks), stiff, arching almost upright (normally no more than 45-degree angle), drooping only at the tips, up to 3 m long; leaflets narrow, especially on the lower leaflets (lower leaflets are developed into long haing threads, known as reins, which drape to the ground); petioles brown, covered with a whitish wax, growing on three sides of the trunk, forming a triangle.
Others - Plant Morphology Flower: Inflorescences moderately-branched, yellow to green, about 1.2 m long, arising from the lower fronds. Fruit: Fruits ovoid, about 2.5 cm in diameter, ripening from green to red.
Cultivation Hardy and robust, it is generally disease free. It prefers full sun and moist, sandy, well-draining soils. Drought tolerant and able to tolerate semi-shade conditions once established. However, due to their fine leaflets, they have tendency to look ragged if care is not taken. Propagate by seeds that germinate within 2 to 3 months.
Etymology The genus epithet 'Dypsis' is derived from the Greek 'dyptein', to dip or dive, in reference to its dipping tips of the fronds. Its species epithet 'decaryi' honours the orginal collector Raymond Decary (1891 to 1973), a French scientist who landed almost all areas of his research work in Madagascar. It is commonly known as the triangle palm due to its leaf bases growing on three distinct sides of the plant, forming a triangle.
Ethnobotanical Uses [Others]: Its fruits are known for their high nutritional value.

Landscaping Features

Landscape Uses Roadside Tree / Palm

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun
Water Preference Moderate Water


Mature Foliage Colour(s) Silver / Grey
Leaf Area Index (LAI) for Green Plot Ratio 2.5 (Palm - Solitary)

Non - Foliar and Storage

Trunk Type (Palm) Single Obvious Trunk, Aboveground

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower Colour(s) Orange, Yellow / Golden

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) - Angiosperms and Gymnosperms Red

Image Repository



Master ID 1327
Species ID 2620
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 14 October 2021.