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 flexilis W.J.Baker[
Calamus flexilis W.J.Baker
Daemonorops gracilis is a spiny, evergreen, climbing palm producing a cluster of unbranched stems. The stems are 12 - 15mm in diameter, they sprawl over the ground and scramble into the surrounding vegetation, but do not grow into taller trees[
The plant is harvested from the wild for its canes, which are used locally for basketry etc.
Southeast Asia - Philippines
Primary forests at elevations up to 200 metres[
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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 canes are used in craftwork[
]. They are around 4 - 8mm in diameter and very flexible[
The long and slender stems of rattan 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[
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[
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[
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