Calamus warburgii

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Calamus (KAL-ah-muhs)
warburgii (whar-BURG-ee)
P014050 3z.jpg
Scientific Classification
Genus: Calamus (KAL-ah-muhs)
warburgii (whar-BURG-ee)
None set.
Native Continent
Habit: Clustering
Leaf type: Pinnate
Survivability index
Common names
Iron Range wait-a-while; Claudie River lawyer vine.

Habitat and Distribution

Calamus warburgii is endemic to New Guinea, Queensland, Australia. Occurs in CYP.
QLD. Australia. Photo by Dr. J.L. Dowe.
Altitudinal range from near sea level to 100 m. Grows in well developed lowland rain forest and gallery forest. Occurs in New Guinea where it is common.


Vine stem diameters to 3 cm. recorded, but stem diameter seldom exceeding 3 cm. Vine stem surface smooth and glassy. Vessels quite large, readily visible to the naked eye. Distinguishing features: leaf terminating in a cirrus (whip-like extension armed with spines); stems clustered at base; leaf sheath densely armed with spines; leaf with 40-100 pinnae on each side of midrib. Pinnae about 100 in each compound leaf. Compound leaf petiole densely clothed in long spines, each spine up to about 5 cm. long. Sheathing petiole base also clothed in spines. Each compound leaf with a long leaflet-free tail (cirrus) about 1.3 m. long projecting beyond toothed. Underside of the pinnae blades, armed with spines along the midrib, spines becoming more hooked towards the apex. Venationthe apical pair of pinnae. Cirrus armed with groups of hooked spines. Leaflet blades about 9-40 x 1-23 cm., sessile, margins finely longitudinal and parallel, with 3 major veins on each side of the midrib. Compound leaf axis, armed with stout spines on each side. Inflorescences of male or female flowers, each to 2 m. long, branched. Male flower 2-3 x 1.5-2 mm. in bud; sepals 0.8-1 mm. long, yellow green; petals 2.5-3 mm long, triangular, yellow-green, glabrous; stamens 2-3 mm long. Female flowers 3-4 x 2-3 mm in bud; sepals 1.2-1.5, green, glabrous; petals 2.2-2.5 x 1.8-2 mm., light green, glabrous; stigmas strongly recurved, ca. 1.5 mm, white; ovary globose. Sterile male flowers present. Fruits globular, about 10 x 8-9 mm., the outer surface clothed in diamond-shaped scales. Seeds depressed globular, about 5 x 8 mm. slightly concave on the underside, surface finely ribbed. Endosperm very hard. Embryo about 1 x 0.5 mm. contained in a cavity. Seedling: Two dissimilar cataphylls produced before the first true leaves. The first cataphyll tubular, about 4 mm. long, enclosing the leaves and stem. The second cataphyll much longer than the first, sheathing the leaves and stem. First pair of leaves pinnate with 5-8 closely spaced pinnae. Pinnae sessile, +/- narrowly elliptic-oblong. A few spines present on the upper surface of the leaflets along the midrib, and the margins. Lower surface of the pinnae and petioles unarmed. Editing by edric.


Comments and Curiosities

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).

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

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