Composite picture of the prickly stem, leaf, male flowers, female flowers and fruits
Photograph by: rmounce
Calamus quangngaiensis is a spiny, evergreen palm producing a cluster of unbranched stems 3 - 4 metres long and 7mm in diameter[
The stems are harvested from the wild for local use in furniture making.
Southeast Asia - Vietnam.
Secondary evergreen forest at elevations around 600 metres[
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Most species in this genus are more or less vigorous climbing plants in rainforests. Leaves of young plants are normally damaged if exposed to too much light, though leaves of older plants will usually tolerate full sun. In general, plants are likely to grow best with their roots in the shade but with enough gap in the canopy to encourage their stems to grow up towards the light. They are also likely to grow best in a humus-rich soil[
]. Many of the species require fairly moist conditions for good growth, in fact several of them grow in wet soils or in areas with seasonal inundation - where we have the information it will be included under the plant’s habitat.
Overhead shade should be manipulated at about 6-monthly intervals for the first 2 - 3 years of a young plant’s life to ensure they receive sufficient light to grow vigorously. About 40 - 50% light penetration is generally considered to be ideal for promoting stem growth.
Little care is needed once the seedlings are established. It is important, however, to weed the area surrounding the seedlings occasionally until the plants are more than 2 metres tall.
A dioecious species, both male and female forms need to be grown if fruit and seed are required.
Although we have no specific information for this species, many members of this genus have potentially edible young shoots. Indeed, in Laos the shoots are considered to be a delicacy and over half the species growing there are said to be cooked and eaten as a vegetable. The top 100cm of the plant is used. If the leaf sheaths are left in place until just before cooking then the shoot will remain fresh for up to one week[
The stems are used for making furniture[
The erect and slender stems of certain non-climbing species are used entire and cut into pieces of appropriate length to make handles, rods, walking canes and the like. Their chief merit, apart from their toughness, their elasticity, and the beauty of their surface, lies in the extraordinary length of their internodes, a single one of these being sufficient to make a very elegant walking cane[
Collecting and preparing the stems is very simple. The stem is cut near the ground, the most recent growth at the top of the plant is removed and then, handling it from the upper end, the stem is forcibly drawn in the opposite direction between two pieces of wood, thus removing the spiny coverings[
Seed - it has a fairly short viability and is best sown as soon as it is ripe.
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