Ravenea musicalis Beentje
  • Principes 37: 199 (1993) 

Notes: Distribution: SE. Madagascar

General Description

Small to medium-sized ventricose palm growing in 0.5-2.5 m deep water. TRUNK 2.5-8 m, ventricose with base (at water level) to 50 cm across, (above water) 30-40 cm diam., near the crown c. 11 cm across, internodes here 0.5 cm, nodal scars 0.5 cm; bark pale brown, soft, with internodes 1-2 cm; wood soft, cream-coloured, fibrous, without hard fibres. LEAVES 14-16, porrect to spreading, arching, held on edge in distal half, with stiff or arching leaflets; sheath 36-41 x 13-20 cm, adaxially orange, abaxially proximally orange, distally green, with thin grey tomentum; fibres few; petiole 15-19 cm long, proximally 3.5-5 x 1.5 across, distally 2.2-2.3 x 0.5-0.6 cm across, glabrous, keeled; rachis 1.3-1.8 m, in mid-leaf 1-1.5 cm across, with little abaxial tomentum; leaflets in one plane, stiff, 59-63 on each side of the rachis, the proximal 36-47 x 0.5-1.5 cm, median 42-53 x 1.6-2.4 cm (interval 2-2.5 cm), distal 10-30 x 0.4-1.3 cm, ramenta none or few, large, basal on midrib and outer main veins, main veins 4. STAMINATE INFLORESCENCE multiple in 5s, the individual inflorescences to 115 cm, branched to 1 order, pendulous in later stage; peduncle 36-38 cm, proximally c. 1 cm across, distally 0.6-0.7 cm across; prophyll 29-30 cm; peduncular bracts 38 cm, 64 cm (inserted at c. 2 cm from the base of the peduncle), 84 cm (inserted at c. 5 cm), 80 cm (inserted at c. 10 cm); rachis about 54 cm, with many dense rachillae; rachillae 7-24 cm, 1-1.5 mm across; flower scars distant. STAMINATE FLOWERS unknown. PISTILLATE INFLORESCENCE solitary, spreading, 105-125 cm, branched to 1 order, the axes green; peduncle 48-52 cm, proximally 3-5 x 2-2.5 cm, distally 2-3 x 1.3-2 cm; prophyll c. 10 x 4 cm; peduncular bracts 20-24 cm (inserted at 0 -2.5 cm from the base of the peduncle), 49-52 cm (inserted at 3-3.5 cm), 82-83 cm (inserted at 4-9 cm), 100-103 cm (inserted at 10-24 cm); rachis 39-55 cm, with 58-68 branches; rachillae 9-42 cm, the proximal spreading, the distal porrect, the base proximally flat, 0.6-1.5 x 1 cm, in fruit 3 -3.5 mm across; pedicels c. 0.5 mm. PISTILLATE FLOWERS with the calyx connate for 1 mm, 1.5 mm wide, free lobes 1.7-2.6 x 1.6-2 mm, ovate, acute; petals in fruit only present as fibre remnants, c. 2.5 mm long. FRUIT orange, 17-23 x 14-19 mm, one-seeded; stigmatic remnants subapical to lateral. SEED brown, 10-14 mm across, hard, seedcoat black, 0.2 mm thick. SEEDLING with 3-4 scale leaves, the first small, the second, third and fourth to 9 cm long and with curving tips; eophyll pinnate.


At 0.5-2.5 m depth in flowing water; seen as a rheophyte on submerged rock pavement, then sterile and to 1 m only; 1-50 m.


S Madagascar, only known from one site.


Vulnerable. Occurs, as far as we know, only along a single river, where the population consists of some 450 trees. Rejuvenation at this site looks good, but as an aquatic species this is very vulnerable to habitat changes.


No uses known to local people.

Common Names

"Torendriky ("submerged

Distribution Map

  • Native distribution
Found in
  • Africa Western Indian Ocean Madagascar


  • 1 Govaerts, R. & Dransfield, J. (2005). World Checklist of Palms: 1-223. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • 2 J. Dransfield & H. Beentje, Palms of Madagascar. 1995

 Information From

Palmweb - Palms of the World Online
Palmweb 2011. Palmweb: Palms of the World Online. Published on the internet http://www.palmweb.org. Accessed on 21/04/2013
  • A Content licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License
  • B Henk Beentje, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
  • C John Dransfield, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
WCS higher taxonomy
  • D All Rights Reserved
World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
WCSP 2014. 'World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. Facilitated by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet; http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/ Retrieved 2011 onwards
  • E See http://kew.org/about-kew/website-information/legal-notices/index.htm You may use data on these Terms and Conditions and on further condition that: The data is not used for commercial purposes; You may copy and retain data solely for scholarly, educational or research purposes; You may not publish our data, except for small extracts provided for illustrative purposes and duly acknowledged; You acknowledge the source of the data by the words "With the permission of the Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew" in a position which is reasonably prominent in view of your use of the data; Any other use of data or any other content from this website may only be made with our prior written agreement.