If you would like to support this site, please consider Donating.
Useful Tropical Plants

Calamus trachycoleus

Becc.

Arecaceae

+ Synonyms

Common Name:

Calamus trachycoleus
Botanical specimens of the plant
Photograph by: O. Beccari; Annals of the Royal Botanic Garden, Calcutta, vol. 11: t. 2 (1906)
Creative Commons License
Calamus trachycoleus Calamus trachycoleus Calamus trachycoleus Calamus trachycoleus Calamus trachycoleus Calamus trachycoleus Calamus trachycoleus Calamus trachycoleus

General Information

Calamus trachycoleus is an evergreen, climbing palm producing an open cluster of unbranched stems that can be 60 metres or more long and 4.5 - 13.5mm in diameter. The plant produces stolons 2 - 3 metres long and 3 - 4cm in diameter, thus producing its open habit[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].
The stems are of good quality and productive. The plant is commonly harvested from the wild for local use and also for trade. It is widely planted by villagers along river banks within its native range. It is now also planted on a fairly large scale (4,000 - 5,000 hectares) in the Malaysian state of Sabah, and to a smaller extent in the states of Sarawak and Pahang[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References


Range

Southeast Asia - Indonesia (Kalimantan)

Habitat

Not known

Properties

Other Uses Rating *  *  *
HabitEvergreen Climber
Height40.00 m
Cultivation StatusCultivated, Wild

Cultivation Details


Grows best on the raised alluvial soils of floodplains that are subject to seasonal flooding such as river levées and foothills, but is unable to withstand stagnant water[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
]. Seedlings, however, can survive being submerged under flood waters for over a month, provided the water is flowing (and thereby providing oxygen)[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
]. The species grows most profusely on river banks because of the abundant light there - it does not occur in deep peat, and is generally not planted by villagers in such areas in Kalimantan. It does not occur in areas affected by salt or brackish water[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].
When planting out seedlings, residual trees in logged-over riverine forest are used as support for the canes. Planting lanes 2 - 4 metres wide and running east-west are cut and staked before planting[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].
Unlike Calamus caesius, which is clump-forming, very wide spacings can be used for this species because it soon spreads over the whole planting area. It has also been successfully planted under abandoned rubber holdings which have been thinned, leaving some trees for support. Where tapping of rubber is continued, this species can spread all over the plantation and hinder access and tapping. For this reason it is not suitable for planting under fruit trees[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].
During germination a plug emerges, pushing aside the inner integument. This occurs from the second day after the seeds have been cleaned and up to 6 weeks; most of the seeds have germinated by the 3 - 4th week. The stem begins to elongate from the 5 - 6th month followed by the production of short rhizomes and more aerial stems. This method of vegetative reproduction is the same as that for Calamus caesius; however, unlike Calamus caesius, long stolons are produced from year 2 - 3 onwards[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].
When a stolon is 1 - 3 metres long, it metamorphoses into an aerial stem. At the point of metamorphosis, two branches are produced, one from each adjacent node, which elongate to form new stolons. The stolons are thus very invasive and there is a potential for exponential increase in aerial stems, but the distal branch of the stolon usually develops more slowly and sometimes remains dormant. In Calamus caesius, competition for growing space is greater because of the short rhizomes, and rhizomes are forced to grow upwards or downwards, producing three or even four tiers of rhizomes. The severe competition causes many of the branches to remain dormant as bulbil-like shoots and expansion is thus nowhere as rapid as in Calamus trachycoleus. Production of stolons in Calamus trachycoleus, however, does not mean that the production of short rhizomes ceases. There is thus a denser central clump surrounded by diffuse canes from stolons[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].
Inflorescences are produced by the 4th year. Not all canes flower at the same time. Flowering canes produce between 1 - 4 inflorescences. Fruits normally abort at first flowering. Between 1,000 - 1,500 fruits are borne per infructescence[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].
After planting, the seedlings have to be weeded 2 - 3 times a year for the first 2 - 3 years. After the third year, when stolons have been produced, weeding is not possible because workers may cut the canes accidentally[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].
Canopy manipulation is required to allow sufficient light to reach the seedlings for rapid growth. Along the Barito River, villagers systematically girdle other trees leaving behind Lagerstroemia sp. As support trees because these trees grow evenly in height to 10- 15 metres making harvesting of canes easy. These trees are also strong enough to support the weight of the climbing canes[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].
Older canes of the clumps are ready for harvesting 8 years after planting. The lower fronds have by this time turned brown and fallen off, leaving behind the dead leaf-sheaths. The canes are cut some 30cm from the base and the dead leaf-sheaths removed by hitting the cane with the blade of a jungle knife. Green fronds and leaf-sheaths are stripped by either standing on the fronds and pulling the cane upwards or by pulling the cane between the fork of a branch or tree. Canes are pulled down in stages, usually by two men, as the leaf-sheaths are removed. If a cane cannot be completely pulled down because the upper portion is entangled in branches, it is cut as high up as possible[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].
After the cane has been pulled down, it is cut into 6 metre long pieces, and the apical 5 - 6 metres is discarded as it is immature and snaps easily after fumigation. A hundred pieces each 6 metres long are bent in the middle, tied into a bundle and carried to the nearest road for transportation to the processing centres. If the canes cannot be brought out the same day, they are placed over a log to drain off excess water[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].
Yield estimates from Kalimantan are 2 tonnes of dry canes per hectare at year 8, followed thereafter by 1.5 - 2.2 tonnes dry canes pre hectare per year[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].
It is because of the high yield that villagers along the Barito River plant more Calamus trachycoleus than Calamus caesius, although the quality and price are higher in the latter specie[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].

Edible Uses

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[
984
Title
Speciality Rattans of the ASEAN
Publication
Blumea 54, pp 39 - 43
Author
A. C. Baja-Lapis
Website
http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/nhn/blumea
Publisher
National Herbarium, Nederland.
Year
2009
ISBN
 
Description
A description of the uses and agricultural practices for 11 selected species of rattan.
].

Medicinal

None known

Other Uses

Traditionally, the stems are used to make baskets and fish traps, as rope in raft building, and as cordage. In commerce, the stem is used mainly as skin peels for the weaving of chair seats and backs, and is used unsplit for making furniture[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
]. The cores are also used for furniture and basket making[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].
In recent years, because of the shortage of stems from Calamus caesius, it has been used extensively as a substitute for the production of rattan mats ('tatami' in Japanese, or known as 'lampit' locally)[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].
Diameter of canes varies from 4.5 - 13.5mm, with most between 5 - 8mm. This variation is due to increase in diameter of the cane with length. The siliceous layer gives the cane a glossy appearance and after fumigation with sulphur and sun drying, it is golden yellow in colour. The canes are lighter and more pliable than Calamus caesius. Because it is more pliable, the peels are preferred for weaving as they are easier to work with. Partly because of its smaller average diameter, between 7,500 - 8,000 pieces of 6 metre long air-dried canes make a ton. Internodal lengths vary from 15 - 30cm or more[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].
The long and slender stems of Calamus species are put to various uses according to their size, length, flexibility, elasticity and toughness. The most slender canes are employed entire for binding purposes, and in making chairs, blinds, mats, wicker or basketwork, fishing implements, etc. Twisted together, they make very strong cables. The largest and more resistent canes are used entire as cables, the framework of wicker chairs etc. Usually, however, for many purposes the stems are split throughout their length into 2 - 4 or more strips from which the inner soft brittle and spongy portion is removed by means of a knife or same other instrument, so as to leave the external portion, which is hard, tough, flexible, elastic and has its outer surface very clean and smooth as if it had been varnished[
983
Title
Annals of the Royal Botanical Garden, Calcutta Vol. XI and Appendix
Publication
 
Author
Dr Odoardo Beccari
Publisher
Royal Botanic Garden, Calcutta
Year
1908
ISBN
 
Description
This volume of the journal is dedicated entirely to a monograph of the genus Calamus, which remains an important treatment over 100 years later.
].
Strips vary in width according to the use to which they are to be put. Those for delicate work, such as the network of furniture, small bags, hats, etc, are from 1 - 3mm wide; those employed as lashings in native housebuilding or in fastening the removable head of the Malay axe to its handle are from 5-6 mm wide[
983
Title
Annals of the Royal Botanical Garden, Calcutta Vol. XI and Appendix
Publication
 
Author
Dr Odoardo Beccari
Publisher
Royal Botanic Garden, Calcutta
Year
1908
ISBN
 
Description
This volume of the journal is dedicated entirely to a monograph of the genus Calamus, which remains an important treatment over 100 years later.
].
Collecting and preparing the stems is very simple. The stem is cut near the ground and detached from the trees by taking a strong hold of its base and thus pulling down the entire plant with its leaves. 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. It is then cut into lengths of about 5 metres, each piece is bent into two equal parts and the stems are fastened into bundles ready for market. The most valued stems are not thicker than a man's little finger and have a fine polished straw-yellow glassy surface[
983
Title
Annals of the Royal Botanical Garden, Calcutta Vol. XI and Appendix
Publication
 
Author
Dr Odoardo Beccari
Publisher
Royal Botanic Garden, Calcutta
Year
1908
ISBN
 
Description
This volume of the journal is dedicated entirely to a monograph of the genus Calamus, which remains an important treatment over 100 years later.
].

Propagation

Seed - it has a fairly short viability and is best sown as soon as it is ripe. The fruits are lightly crushed to break up the seed-coat before being rubbed on quarter-inch wire mesh to remove the sarcotesta. The cleaned seeds are then treated with a fungicide and sown without delay, either in trays or seed-beds. Seed-beds are usually filled with forest topsoil. The seeds are evenly spread over the topsoil and covered with 2cm of sawdust. Seed-beds are shaded and well watered. Sawdust alone is used in germination trays. The seeds are similarly spread thinly and covered with 2cm of sawdust[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].
One month after sowing, when the shoots are 2 - 3cm above the sawdust, the seedlings are potted into polybags 15cm deep and about 15cm in diameter, variously filled with topsoil or 75% topsoil mixed with 25% sand mixed with chicken dung or commercial fertilizers. The seedlings are provided with overhead shade and are watered twice a day. Villagers normally use palm fronds for shade, but netting providing 50 - 60% shade is more commonly used in commercial nurseries. The potted seedlings are periodically sprayed with fungicide and fertilized for continued and vigorous growth. At 8 - 9 months, when the seedlings are between 40 - 50cm tall, they are planted in the field[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
]
Propagation is usually from seed, but villagers along the Barito River also use wildlings and stolons for planting[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].
Cite as: Tropical Plants Database, Ken Fern. tropical.theferns.info. 2019-06-27. <tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Calamus+trachycoleus>

Add a Comment:

If you have any useful information about this plant, please leave a comment. Comments have to be approved before they are shown here.