Trunks erect, clustered, less than 15 cm diam., clustering, erect, with conspicuous nodal rings, unarmed, occasionally branching near base. Leaves: leaf bases unarmed, yellowish, forming distinct crownshaft; blade pinnate [undivided], unarmed; plication reduplicate; segments lanceolate, evenly spaced, strongly ascending; apices acuminate. Inflorescences axillary below crown of leaves, paniculate, with 3 orders of branching; prophyll small; peduncular bracts caducous, tubular. Flowers unisexual, sessile, in triads of 1 pistillate flower flanked by 2 staminate flowers. Staminate flowers: sepals 3, imbricate, free; petals 3, briefly connate basally, valvate; stamens 6, free; anthers dorsifixed; pistillode present. Pistillate flowers: sepals 3, imbricate, free; petals 3, imbricate, free; staminodes 6, minute; pistil 1; ovules 1; stigmas 3. Fruits drupes, ellipsoid; exocarp yellow, smooth; mesocarp fleshy; endocarp thin, fibrous, terete in cross section. Seeds ovoid; endosperm homogeneous; embryo subbasal; eophyll 2-cleft; segments lanceolate. Dypsis is a morphologically diverse genus restricted to Madagascar and adjacent islands. The genus has recently been revised and substantially expanded by J. Dransfield and H. J. Beentje (1995b). The most familiar species, D. lutescens (H. Wendland) Beentje & J. Dransfield, is hardly representative of the astonishing diversity in growth form, leaf shape, floral details, and fruit morphology found in the genus.