Prota 16: Fibres/Plantes à fibres
Ann. Sci. Nat., Bot., sér. 2, 20: 51 (1843).
Dais cotinifolia Lam. non L.
Origin and geographic distribution
Dais glaucescens is endemic to Madagascar, where it occurs from the northern to the southern part of the island.
Dais glaucescens is one of the species of which the bark has been used since long for making ‘Antaimoro paper’, a paper of excellent quality, which is now made into articles such as stationary, envelopes, cards, notebooks, photo albums, lampshades and gift bags. The bark is used for the manufacture of string, and was formerly used for making barkcloth. The bark fibre can be woven into textiles. The white-coloured wood is suitable for boxes.
Small tree up to 8 m tall; bole up to 25 cm in diameter; branches striate, glabrous. Leaves opposite, simple and entire; stipules absent; petiole 4 mm long; blade ovate, 5–6 cm × 3–3.5 cm, apex obtuse, glabrous. Inflorescence a dense head, 10–12-flowered; peduncle up to 3 cm long; involucral bracts 4–5, ovate, 5 mm × 3 mm, hairy. Flowers bisexual, regular, 15–18 mm long, white hairy, orange to yellow-orange; calyx tube cylindrical, broad, often curved, lobes 5, petals absent; stamens 10, in 2 whorls, the longer ones slightly exserted; ovary superior, 1-locular. Fruit unknown.
Dais glaucescens flowers in March.
Dais comprises 2 species, with Dais cotinifolia L. distributed in East and southern Africa.
Dais glaucescens occurs in forest, particularly littoral forest, and on bare mountains and near water.
‘Antaimoro paper’ was introduced into Madagascar by Arabs who settled on the east coast of Madagascar. The process of making ‘Antaimoro paper’ was kept a secret until 1936, when a French planter, Pierre Mathieu, began collaborating with the descendants of the first Arab settlers. ‘Antaimoro paper’ is still handmade in small paper factories, using the ancient methods. The bark is soaked and pounded into a pulp with wooden mallets, after which the pulp is laid on a screen, imbedded with dried flowers, and placed in the sun to dry.
Genetic resources and breeding
It is difficult to assess whether Dais glaucescens is threatened by genetic erosion, as information is lacking on its precise distribution within Madagascar.
Little information is available on Dais glaucescens and its fibre properties. Its use in the niche market for high-quality ‘Antaimoro paper’ may increase with increasing tourism to Madagascar.
• Boiteau, P., Boiteau, M. & Allorge-Boiteau, L., 1999. Dictionnaire des noms malgaches de végétaux. 4 Volumes + Index des noms scientifiques avec leurs équivalents malgaches. Editions Alzieu, Grenoble, France.
• Decary, R., 1946. Plantes et animaux utiles de Madagascar. Annales du Musée Colonial de Marseille, 54e année, 6e série, 4e volume, 1er et dernier fascicule. 234 pp.
• Leandri, J., 1950. Thyméléacées (Thymelaeaceae). Flore de Madagascar et des Comores (plantes vasculaires), famille 146. Firmin-Didot et cie., Paris, France. 40 pp.
• Borris, R.P., Blasko, G. & Cordell, G.A., 1988. Ethnopharmacologic and phytochemical studies of Thymelaeaceae. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 24: 41–91.
• Schatz, G., undated. A catalogue of the vascular plants of Madagascar. [Internet]. Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, United States. http://www.efloras.org/ flora_info.aspx?flora_id=12. Accessed February 2009.
• Zavada, M.S. & Lowrey, T.K., 1995. Floral heteromorphism in Dais cotinifolia l. (Thymelaeaceae): a possible case of heterostyly. Bulletin du Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, 4e série, 17, section B, Adansonia 1–2: 11–20.
Correct citation of this article:
Brink, M., 2009. Dais glaucescens Decne. ex C.A.Mey. In: Brink, M. & Achigan-Dako, E.G. (Editors). Prota 16: Fibres/Plantes à fibres. [CD-Rom]. PROTA, Wageningen, Netherlands.