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Dypsis sahanofensis

Sahanofo Palm

This midsized, clustering palm with slender stems and glossy green leaves with neatly grouped leaflets is native to montane rainforests in central eastern Madagascar between 300 and 1400 m (1000 and 4600 ft.) a.s.l. It only persists in one single area where it is endangered through forest clearance.

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germination comments by our visitors
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Seeds from this species ...

... are very easy to germinate and need up to 1 month to sprout.
In short it's easy to germinate but hard to keep alive if it gets any sun. The Sahanofo palm is arguably one of the easiest palm to germinate and can be ranked right up there with Areca Catechu. Its success rate is almost right up there with a Bismarckia Nobilis, which has a 90%-100% success rate if bought at Rarepalmseeds.com. Oddly though, I don't know how to germinate the Sahanofo, all I do know is that when I ordered a pack of 10, I got 26 instead and 19 were already hatched with 10 having formed a root and shoot to boot. From this I can surmise that it does not take much heat – unlike other Dypsis. But it does need moisture otherwise its delicate root system collapses fast. Consequently, I suggest foregoing the 3-day soak, and just get it to a warm pad or under the sun but under protected shade. Given that it germinates readily and easily, it doesn't need much heat, possibly 25C-27C as a max level. Watering should be moist but no drenching as the seed is delicate like so many Dypsis daintier/delicate palms. But a big NB - the Sahanofo must be kept in the shade otherwise any burning of the leaf can lead to death. Once the leaf is burnt, it prefers to shut down than recover, it is as if the palm itself does not have the will to survive – hence its endangered status. Should the leaves however catch any sun and burn – cut away the burnt part and feed the dainty palm with a fertilizer that speeds up the metabolism. Fertilizer should only be applied via spray and the palm should only be sprayed once and lightly (ie one squeeze only of the spray trigger) – so as to avoid any overload of the palm's system – after all it is very delicate. I tried this method once and am glad for it – it worked. The palm has stabilised and prognosis is positive. Better that watching a slow death. In short, the palm does well in complete shade but in bright conditions. This palm is only for experts with the utmost patience and willingness to keep this one preserved indoors and away from windows but in well-lit areas in its youth and adolescence. Judging from the Rarepalmseeds.com photo of this palm however it looks like this palm can take sun when it is adult – but don't risk it beforehand. This is a slow-growing palm and probably will not pick up in terms of growth until it is established some three years after germination. But it is worth the wait.
Submitted on 23/08/2007 by Anthony Dovkants adovkants@hotmail.com

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plant cultivation comments by our visitors
Also see germination commnets above.

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If you wish to read more on palm cultivation, we highly recommend Ornamental Palm Horticulture by Timothy K. Broschat and Alan W. Meerow, available in our bookshop.

Ratings and comments reflect individual experiences and the views of our visitors. They do not necessarily describe the most appropriate methods, nor are they necessarily valid for all seeds or plants of this species. Germination and plant cultivation success depends on many different factors; nevertheless, these experiences will hopefully aid you in your effort to get the best germination results from our seeds and the best growth results from your plants.

We recommend:
The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms

The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms
by Robert Lee Riffle, Paul Craft, Scott Zona

2nd edition
Completely revised and updated

Hardcover - 528 pages
11 x 8.5 inches

Our rating:
Suitable for: all

The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms is the definitive account of all palms that can be grown for ornamental and economic use. Palms are often underutilized as a result of their unfamiliarity—even to tropical gardeners. To help introduce these valuable plants to a new audience, the authors have exhaustively documented every genus in the palm family.
825 species are described in detail, including cold hardiness, water needs, height, and any special requirements. Generously illustrated with more than 900 photos, including photos of several palm species that have never before appeared in a general encyclopedia, The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms is as valuable as an identification guide as it is a practical handbook. Interesting snippets of history, ethnobotany, and biology inform the text and make this a lively catalog of these remarkable plants.

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