The genus Dypsis comprises more than 150 species of palms, mostly from East Africa, Madagascar and the Comoros. They are generally medium-sized, slender palms with pinnate leaves, yellow panicle-shaped flowers and numerous branches. Their etymology is not well known, perhaps derived from the Greek term dypto or dyptes (diver).
D. lutescens (epithet meaning 'turning yellow') is native to Madagascar. Petioles and rachis are yellowish in colour, and its ringed trunk can grow to more than 8 m and is only 10 cm thick. Its flowers are aromatic and whitish-green, which give rise to black or purplish fruits when ripe.
It is a highly appreciated ornamental species, very adaptable and adapts well to indoor spaces (although when fully grown it grows to over 6 m). Its ringed trunk also gives it the name of bamboo palm, although it has nothing to do with it.
This species is also one of the plants studied by NASA in the Clean air study for its capacity to eliminate formaldehyde, xylene and toluene from the environment.