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Calamus ornatus Blume

Calamus ornatus Blume





Vernacular Names

Malaysia Rotan dok (Selangor), sek batang (Pahang), we maliang (Sarawak).
Indonesia Rotan kesup (Bengkulu), rotan buku dalam (Northern Sulawesi), rotan lambang (Central Sulawesi).
Philippines Limuran (Luzon), rimoran (Palawan), borongan (Mindanao).
Thailand Waai chaang (Pattani).

Geographical Distributions

Calamus ornatus is widespread in a secondary to primary forest from southern Thailand, Sumatra, Java, Borneo, Sulawesi (var. celebicus Becc.) to the Philippines (var. pulverulentus Fernando and var. philippinensis Becc.).


C. ornatus is a massive clustering rattan and dioecious that can climb up to 50 m high. The stem is without leaf-sheaths that slightly angular, measuring up to 40 mm in diametre and the sheaths measuring up to 70 mm in diametre. The nodes are rather prominent where the internodes measure up to 30 cm long.

The leaves are massive. The leaf-sheath is pale to dark green, armed to various degrees with narrow to large flattened triangular black spines that with yellowish bases and measuring 4 cm x 1 cm. The spines are irregularly arranged and pointing somewhat upward. The knee is conspicuous. The ocrea is short and tattering. The flagellum is massive, dark green, measures up to 10 m long or more and armed with short black yellow-based spines in partial whorls. The petiole is linear, measuring up to 1 m x 4 cm and usually less. The leaflets are regular which are 20-30 on each side where the lowermost measuring 50 cm x 5 cm while the largest one is in the middle measuring 80 cm x 8 cm but decreasing to small measuring 4 cm x 0.5 cm at the tip. The rachis forms subcirrus. The upper surface of the leaflets is conspicuously prickly near the tip and along the upper main veins.

The inflorescence is flagelliferous, measures up to 8 m long and bears 4-6 of the 80 cm long partial inflorescences. The female is with robust reflexed rachillae while the male is with more branched rachillae.

The ripe fruit is ellipsoid, measuring 3 cm x 2 cm, short beaked, covered in 15 vertical rows of yellow brown to matt black scales and slightly lighter in colour at their bases.

The seed is ellipsoid, measuring 2 cm x 0.8 cm, rather angular with grooves on flattened lateral face and covered in sour sarcotesta. The endosperm is homogenous. The seedling-leaf is bifid and shiny green.

Ecology / Cultivation

C. ornatus is very common and widespread in primary as well as secondary tropical rainforests at altitudes up to 1000 m. It is not found in peat swamps or on extremely poor ridgetop soils.

Line Drawing / Photograph



  1. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No. 6: Rattans.

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