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Useful Tropical Plants

Korthalsia robusta

Blume

Arecaceae

+ Synonyms

Korthalsia macrocarpa Becc.

Korthalsia squarrosa Becc.

Common Name:

Korthalsia robusta
orang Utan Sanctuary, Sepilok, Sabah, Malaysia
Photograph by: William J. Baker
Image credit to Palmweb
Korthalsia robusta Korthalsia robusta Korthalsia robusta Korthalsia robusta Korthalsia robusta

General Information

Korthalsia robusta is a spiny, evergreen, climbing palm producing a cluster of slender stems around 20 metres long and 20 - 35mm in diameter that can climb high into the surrounding vegetation. 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 furniture, 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.
].

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.

Range

Southeast Asia - Malaysia (Borneo), Indonesia, Philippines

Habitat

Dense primary forests and old secondary forest, it is a characteristic plant of disturbed habitats throughout its range, being particularly abundant on river banks in the flood plains of large rivers at elevations up to 500 metres[
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
].

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 in 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 and, in this species, can also be very noisy - producing an alarm call when disturbed by banging their mandibles against the dry ocreas[
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 fruit is around 40mm long and 25mm wide[
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 in handicrafts[
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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