It has been proposed - William J.Baker; A revised delimitation of the rattan genus Calamus (Arecaceae), Phytotaxa 197 (2): 139-152; 2015 - that the genera Ceratolobus, Daemonorops, Pogonotium and Retispatha should all be subsumed into a revised and expanded concept of the genus Calamus. This revised treatment has been accepted in the 'World Checklist of Selected Plant Families' and is likely to recieve further acceptance. For the time being, until there is wider acceptance of this change, we are not moving these species across into Calamus. The new name for this species in Calamus will be Calamus palembanicus (Blume) Miq.[
Calamus palembanicus (Blume) Miq.
Palmijuncus palembanicus (Blume) Kuntze
Rotang palembanicus (Blume) Baill.
Botanical specimens of the plant
Photograph by: Annals of the Royal Botanic Garden Calcutta. Vol. 12, Pt. 1 1908
Daemonorops palembanica is a rather robust, evergreen climbing palm producing a cluster of unbranched stems that scramble into the surrounding vegetation.
The plant is a source of the resin 'Dragon's Blood', but it is only obtained in small quantities and so only used locally[
Southeast Asia - Indonesia.
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Most species in this genus are more or less vigorous climbing plants in rainforests. In general, they 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[
A dioecious species, both male and female forms need to be grown if fruit and seed are required.
The resin obtained from the fruit scales is used as a red flavouring and colouring in non-alcoholic drinks[
The resin is astringent and stimulant[
]. It has been used in dentifrices and as a mouth wash[
An orange to red resin, known as 'dragon's blood', is extracted from the fruit scales and leaf sheaths[
]. It is used as dye for textiles, baskets, varnishes, toothpastes, tinctures, and plasters for dyeing horns to imitate tortoise shells. It is also used in varnishes and lacquers, especially on violins, where it gives a mahogany-like stain; and in photo engraving on zinc, where it protects the metal parts that are not to be etched[
Extraction of the resin can be by dry or wet methods. Dry extraction is done by sun-drying the collected fruits and then crushing them. The resulting resin is screened and flushed with hot water to form a batter. The resin is turned into granules, sticks and powder[
]. Alternatively, the fruits are first dried and the resin then removed by rubbing the fruit with cockle shells[
]. The resin so collected is processed by wrapping in a cloth, dampening in hot water and then being squeezed[
The best dragon blood comes in cylinder form of 30 - 35cm in length and 20 - 25mm in thickness and when dissolved in alcohol the residue content is below 9%[
For wet-extraction, the crushed fruits are boiled in water, but the dyes extracted in this way are of inferior quality[
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