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Useful Tropical Plants

Korthalsia rigida

Blume

Arecaceae

+ Synonyms

Calamosagus ochriger Griff.

Calamosagus polystachys (Mart.) H.Wendl.

Korthalsia ferox malayana Becc.

Korthalsia hallieriana Becc.

Korthalsia paludosa Furtado

Korthalsia polystachya Mart.

Common Name:

Korthalsia rigida
Drawing of the leaves and flowers
Photograph by: Blume, C.L., Rumphia, vol. 3: t. 157 (1847)
Creative Commons License
Korthalsia rigida Korthalsia rigida Korthalsia rigida Korthalsia rigida

General Information

Korthalsia rigida is a spiny, evergreen, climbing palm producing a cluster of long slender stems 12 - 18mm in diameter that can climb high into the surrounding trees. Unbranched in its lower parts, the stem often produces a number of branches in the canopy where it can form considerable entanglements. The stem is very slender towards the base, but new growth gradually thickens, reaching its greatest diameter at the upper end at the time of flowering[
1017
Title
Annals of the Royal Botanic Garden, Calcutta. Vol. 12 Part 2
Publication
 
Author
Beccari O.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Bengal Secretariat Book Depot; Calcutta
Year
1916
ISBN
 
Description
A botanical journal, this volume has an extensice treatment of the Asiatic Palms in the subfamily Lepidocaryeae. Although dated, it remains a classic work.
].
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a source of material for basket making and weaving, possibly also as a food.

Known Hazards

Many species in this genus have ants living on them in structures evolved by the plant known as ocreas. In some species the ants can be very aggressive[
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.
,
1017
Title
Annals of the Royal Botanic Garden, Calcutta. Vol. 12 Part 2
Publication
 
Author
Beccari O.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Bengal Secretariat Book Depot; Calcutta
Year
1916
ISBN
 
Description
A botanical journal, this volume has an extensice treatment of the Asiatic Palms in the subfamily Lepidocaryeae. Although dated, it remains a classic work.
]. This species is only occasionally found with ants[
1021
Title
A Synopsis of the genus Korthalsia (Palmae; Lepidocaryoideae)
Publication
Kew Bulletin 36.1 pp 163 - 194
Author
Dransfield J.
Publisher
 
Year
1981
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent treatment of the genus Korthalsia
].

Botanical References

1017
Title
Annals of the Royal Botanic Garden, Calcutta. Vol. 12 Part 2
Publication
 
Author
Beccari O.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Bengal Secretariat Book Depot; Calcutta
Year
1916
ISBN
 
Description
A botanical journal, this volume has an extensice treatment of the Asiatic Palms in the subfamily Lepidocaryeae. Although dated, it remains a classic work.
,
1021
Title
A Synopsis of the genus Korthalsia (Palmae; Lepidocaryoideae)
Publication
Kew Bulletin 36.1 pp 163 - 194
Author
Dransfield J.
Publisher
 
Year
1981
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent treatment of the genus Korthalsia

Range

Southeast Asia - Peninsula Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines

Habitat

Lowland and hill dipterocarp forest, avoiding peat swamps but otherwise found in a wide variety of conditions; at elevations up to 1,100 metres[
1021
Title
A Synopsis of the genus Korthalsia (Palmae; Lepidocaryoideae)
Publication
Kew Bulletin 36.1 pp 163 - 194
Author
Dransfield J.
Publisher
 
Year
1981
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent treatment of the genus Korthalsia
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *
Other Uses Rating *  *
HabitEvergreen Climber
Height20.00 m
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details



A monocarpic species, it can grow for many years without flowering, then flowers prolifically before setting seed and dying. The flowers are produced in panicles at the ends of the stems[
1017
Title
Annals of the Royal Botanic Garden, Calcutta. Vol. 12 Part 2
Publication
 
Author
Beccari O.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Bengal Secretariat Book Depot; Calcutta
Year
1916
ISBN
 
Description
A botanical journal, this volume has an extensice treatment of the Asiatic Palms in the subfamily Lepidocaryeae. Although dated, it remains a classic work.
].
Many species n this genus have a close association with ants that make their nests within swollen structures in the leaf sheaths known as ocreas. The ant-rattan relationship also seems to involve the presence of scale insects that are husbanded by the ants for honey dew on young rattan tissue. Ants occupying the ocreas of some species can be extremely aggressive[
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

The fruit of all members of this genus is more or less edible. It is sometimes eaten, but there is little flesh and it is therefore more likely to be used as a famine food when little else is available[
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.
,
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
]. The globose fruit is around 8 - 12mm in diameter[
1018
Title
A Field Guide to Philippine Rattans
Publication
Asia Life Sciences Supplement 5
Author
Aida C. Baja-Lapis
Publisher
Rushing Water Publishers Ltd; Philippines
Year
2010
ISBN
0117-3375
Description
A very useful book with concise information on the various rattan species that grow in the Philippines
].

Medicinal

None known

Other Uses

The canes are used for basketry and as a tying material[
1018
Title
A Field Guide to Philippine Rattans
Publication
Asia Life Sciences Supplement 5
Author
Aida C. Baja-Lapis
Publisher
Rushing Water Publishers Ltd; Philippines
Year
2010
ISBN
0117-3375
Description
A very useful book with concise information on the various rattan species that grow in the Philippines
].
All members of the genus produce long and very durable canes and are used to make some of the most durable and attractive carrying baskets in southeast Asia. Unfortunately, the inner epidermis of the leaf sheaths adheres to the stem, making it difficult to clean and leaving the stem lacking the attractive, shiny appearance of many Calamus species. In addition, the nodes are frequently very irregular and marked with shallow pits or the remains of branches The canes are very widely used locally and often traded, but not usually more widely than local markets[
1021
Title
A Synopsis of the genus Korthalsia (Palmae; Lepidocaryoideae)
Publication
Kew Bulletin 36.1 pp 163 - 194
Author
Dransfield J.
Publisher
 
Year
1981
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent treatment of the genus Korthalsia
].
Large diameter canes are used for purposes such as large fish traps and the framework of cheap furniture. Smaller diameter canes can be used whole or split for binding, weaving etc[
1021
Title
A Synopsis of the genus Korthalsia (Palmae; Lepidocaryoideae)
Publication
Kew Bulletin 36.1 pp 163 - 194
Author
Dransfield J.
Publisher
 
Year
1981
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent treatment of the genus Korthalsia
].

Propagation

Seed -

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