A solitary, medium sized, moderately fast growing, monoecious, forest emergent, whitish coloured crownshaft palm. Not known in cultivation, critically endangered in the wild. It has a smooth, brown trunk, 12 m. (40 ft.) tall, 28 cm. (11 inch) diameter with spaced ring leaf scars, and huge segmented, pinnate (feather) leaves, 3 m. (10 ft.) long, 1.2 m. (4 ft.) wide, dark green above and beneath.
The name comes directly form the local name, which means stinking and refers to the smelly palm-heart, which is eaten.
Dypsis hovomantsina naturally occurs near streams in valley bottoms, which are often at reasonable altitude. Therefore one would assume this palm would tolerate freezing conditions. However, valley bottoms are very sheltered and nearby water can artificially raise the air temperature. Freezing temperatures will kill this palm. But this palm tolerates a constantly cool or mild climate with little temperature difference between day & night, and Summer & Winter. Under extreme cold conditions we recommend you keep this palm as dry as possible, and well wrapped up.
Only known from Maroantsetra and Mananara in rain forest, steep slopes either near vally bottoms or near ridge crest; 50-300 m. elevation.