Clustering palm in clumps of 3-5, rarely appearing solitary. STEM S 2-8 m high, rarely with a single branching point, 2.5-12 [-22] cm diam., near the crown 2.5-5.5 cm diam.; internodes 4-35 cm, near the crown as short as 1.3 cm, grey, grey-green or blackish; nodal scars c. 0.5 cm, faint, white; wood hard, with a dense layer of hard red fibres just underneath the bark; crownshaft to 10 cm diam., pale green to pale yellow, waxy, the unexposed sheaths peach-coloured; occasionally with the remnants of sheaths remaining on the distal part of the trunk, but usually the leaves abscising neatly. LEAVES 4-8 in the crown, spiral or tristichous, arching, the young leaves sometimes held on edge in their distal half; sheath 28-60 cm long, pale green to pale yellow, waxy, the unexposed sheaths peach-coloured, only distally densely scaly, with auricles to 2 cm high; petiole 0-37 (-53) cm long, proximally 1-2.3 x 1.2-2.5 cm, distally 0.8-1.3 x 0.8-1 cm diam., with dense but flaking red to dark scales, therefore appearing crimson when young, later with scattered scales, slightly channelled; rachis 0.5-1.2 m long, abaxially densely scaly but glabrescent, in mid-leaf 0.8-1.6 cm wide and keeled; leaflets 35-60 on each side of the rachis, regular, in one plane, dark green, stiff with the distal part pendulous, the proximal 19- 100 x 0.3-1.1 cm, median 25-49 [-77] x 0.9-2.7 cm, distal 7-36 x 0.3-1.8 cm, sometimes glabrous but more often with quite a few ramenta (2-5 mm long) proximally, on the minor veins often with scattered reddish bumps, these being the remnants of the quite dense bases of stellate-laciniate reddish scales on the minor veins in young leaves, main vein 1, plus rather thickened margins, apices bifid, unequally attenuate. INFLORESCENCE interfoliar or infrafoliar, branched to 2 orders, arching; peduncle 24-62 cm long, proximally 0.8-2.2 x 0.5-0.8 cm, distally 1.8-3.5 x 0.9-2 cm diam., glabrous, proximally red, distally green; prophyll 25-73 x 2.2-4 [-5.5] cm, borne at 2.5-22 (-45) cm above the base of the peduncle, erect, often hooded, dark crimson to pale brown, distally with scattered scales; peduncular bract inserted at 22-54 from the base of the peduncle, deciduous, 20-44 (-65) cm long, erect and hooded, deep crimson or brown, carried upwards by the lengthening inflorescence; non-tubular peduncular bracts usually 2, 1-6 (-17.5) x 0.6-1.4 cm; rachis 13-33 cm long, glabrous, with 5-21 branched and 7-10 unbranched first order branches, the proximal with a secondary rachis of up to 4.5 [-11.5] cm long and 4-13 x 2-6 mm diam. and with 4-9 [-15] rachillae, rachis bracts 4-20 mm long; rachillae 3-24) cm long, [1.5-] 2.5-4.5 mm diam., glabrous, pinkish to pale green, with distant or dense slightly sunken triads; rachilla bracts 1-1.5 mm, acute. STAMINATE FLOWERS faintly scented; sepals cream with brown tips and 1.9-3 x 2-3.1 mm; petals proximally white, distally red, connate for 0.5-1.8 mm, free parts 2.5-4 x [1.8-] 2.5-3.5 mm, often with swellings proximally on each side of the filament insertion; stamens 6, biseriate (offset 0.2-0.4 mm), filaments white, (0.8 in bud -) 2.4-4.5 mm long, 0.4-1.3 mm wide with the antepetalous ones flatter than the cylindrical antesepalous ones, anthers 1.1-2 x 0.5-1.4 mm; pistillode 1.4-3.3 x 0.6-1.5 mm. PISTILLATE FLOWERS with sepals 2.2-2.8 x [1.7-2.4] 2.5-3 mm, slightly apiculate; petals 2.8-3.5 x [2.3-2.6] 2.8-4.2 mm; staminodes 6, 0.4-1 mm; ovary 2.8-3.3 x 2.8 mm. FRUIT yellow, ellipsoid or subglobose, 10-20 x 8-16 mm; endocarp fibrous. SEED ellipsoid or slightly obovoid, 9.5-12 x 7.5-11 mm, pointed at the base, rounded at the apex, with a sub-basal depression, the outside slightly grooved; endosperm ruminate, the intrusions corresponding to the grooves, 1-1.5 [-3] mm deep and medium dense.
"Farihazo (Imerina, "sugarcane