“Mealy Bug Palm”
Natural Habitat: Naturally found throughout eastern Madagascar, where it can be found in both wet and dry areas. The name manajarensis, comes from the Madagascan region of Manajary, where the palm can be found
Description: A very unique solitary Dypsis palm, that has unique white markings one its trunk, petioles, and rachis (branches) that resemble mealy bugs, hence the common name. The mananjarensis can reach heights around 80 feet tall in habitat, due to its large 10-15 foot long ascending pinnate leaves. The large 4 foot wide green to yellow crownshaft emerges 5-8 leaves in three ranks; similar to the Triangle Palm (Dypsis decaryi). Newly emerged leaves on younger palms usually have and keep a red or pink color to the branches, making the white “mealy bug” marks more visible. As the palms ages this trait tends to fade out.
There is a lot of confusion over this palm, and its true form. There have seemingly been 2-4 different species cultivated under the mealy bug name, and the true form is still truly unknown. Due to its endangerment in habitat, the true palm will hopefully be correctly identified by mature palms in cultivation
Environment: The mananjarensis enjoys a shady area when younger, and requires more sun as it ages, eventually enjoying full sun. A well draining moist soil is best for this palm. It is not cold hardy to sub 40 temperatures, frosts, and freezes. Zones 10-11. It can survive well in a green house throughout winter, and makes a very attractive potted palm for a patio or porch. As a seedling it should be kept in shady area and watered regularly.