Calamus leptospadix

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Calamus (KAL-ah-muhs)
leptospadix (lehp-toh-SPAH-dihks)
Climg 0767 zpsa7959b8e.jpg
"This specimen at Leu Gardens has reached about 6 ft tall so far." Photo by Eric S., Botanist, H.P. Leu Gardens, Orlando FL., edric.
Scientific Classification
Genus: Calamus (KAL-ah-muhs)
leptospadix (lehp-toh-SPAH-dihks)
None set.
Native Continent
Habit: Clustering
Leaf type: Pinnate
Survivability index
Common names
Dhangri bet, Rab bet, Rani bet, Mugri bet.

Habitat and Distribution

Calamus leptospadix is found in INDIA (West Bengal, Sikkim, Meghalaya, Assam, Manipur,
"This specimen at Leu Gardens has reached about 6 ft tall so far." Photo by Eric S., Botanist, H.P. Leu Gardens, Orlando FL.
Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh), BHUTAN. Mostly on damp river plains, and forming big thickets. It becomes a cluster forming high climber when it grows in moist valleys among tall trees. (S.K. Basu. 1992)/Palmweb.


A slender cluster forming climber; stem thickened at joints, with lead-sheaths 12-20 mm in diameter, naked stem smooth, 8 -10 mm in diameter at the internodes. Leaves ecirrate, delicate looking, 80-105 cm long; leafsheath with flagellum, thickly scurfy outside, armed with flattened, 15-20 mm long, subulate, half-whorled spines; ocrea persistent, prickly at margins; flagellum filiform with non-spinous base; armed distally with small, delicate claws; petiole terete; petiole and rachis armed with deflexed spines and claws; rachis delicate angular, covered thickly with greyish indumentum; leaflets closely placed, linear-ensiform, alternate to sub-opposite, to 30 cm long, distinctly 3-nerved, attenuate at base; acuminate to bristly subulate at apex; uppermost leaflets shorter. Male inflorescence flagelliform, decompound; male rachillae scorpioid, 1 -2cm long, with 6-12 closely set bifarious flowers. Male flowers 4-4.5 X 1.5 mm; calyx tubular, campanulate, divided up to middle into apiculate lobes; corolla double the length of calyx into 3 oblong segments. Female inflorescence similar to male; female rachillae erect from base, arching above, 1.5 - 2 cm long; each with 5-8 female flowers. Fruit globose, 1.5 mm in diameter, mamil-late; fruit scales yellow with reddish brown margins, channelled at middle; seed globose, endosperm homogeneous. (S.K. Basu. 1992)/Palmweb. Editing by edric.


Infrequent in silviculture practice. Experimental cultivation was possible in the Jalpaiguri forest division of north Bengal. Cultivated in the Indian Botanic Garden, Howrah. (S.K. Basu. 1992)/Palmweb.

Comments and Curiosities

Uses: Cane is thin and delicate therefore used mainly for making rough baskets. Split canes are durable and used for making chair bottoms. (S.K. Basu. 1992)/Palmweb.

"This is Calamus leptospadix, a climbing Rattan Palm native from eastern Nepal to NE India and N. Myanmar. It can climb 70-75ft up but has slender canes 1-2cm in diameter. The rattan made from the canes is low quality and mostly used for baskets. This palm climbs by aid of flagella. These are long, whip-like structures that are a sterile inflorescence. The are armed with small, hooked spines that latch onto other vegetation and help anchor and pull the palm up. Only palms belonging to Calamus develop flagella. The trunks and leaves are also armed with sharp spines." (Eric S., botanist, H.P. Leu Gardens, Orlando FL.)

External Links


Phonetic spelling of Latin names by edric.

Special thanks to Geoff Stein, (Palmbob) for his hundreds of photos.

Special thanks to, Dr. John Dransfield, Dr. Bill Baker & team, for their volumes of information and photos.

Glossary of Palm Terms; Based on the glossary in Dransfield, J., N.W. Uhl, C.B. Asmussen-Lange, W.J. Baker, M.M. Harley & C.E. Lewis. 2008. Genera Palmarum - Evolution and Classification of the Palms. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. All images copyright of the artists and photographers (see images for credits).

Basu, S.K. 1992. Rattans (canes) in India. A Monographic Revision. Forest Research Institute, Malaysia.

Many Special Thanks to Ed Vaile for his long hours of tireless editing and numerous contributions.

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