Calamus muelleri

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Calamus (KAL-ah-muhs)
muelleri (moo-ehl-lehr'-ee)
4785796791 0e0f026ac5 o.jpg
Scientific Classification
Genus: Calamus (KAL-ah-muhs)
muelleri (moo-ehl-lehr'-ee)
None set.
Native Continent
Habit: Clustering
Leaf type: Pinnate
Survivability index
Common names
Southern lawyer cane, wait-a-while.

Habitat and Distribution

Calamus muelleri is endemic to New South Wales, Queensland, Australia. Grows in rainforest on the
Springbrook National Park, 30 minutes from the beaches of the Gold Coast (Australia). The Springbrook Plateau sits at about 1000m elevation. Photo by Dayrl O'Connor.
coast and lower ranges.


Climbers with spines, and slender cane-like stems to 20 m high, dioecious. Leaves alternate, ± sessile, with hooked spines on the rachis and sheath; lamina pinnate, about 30–50 cm long; segments ± oblanceolate, 9–12, 10–20 cm long, 3–6 cm wide; rachis 16–25 cm long, spiny, very thorny stems, and long modified inflorescences covered in backwards pointing hooks. These are used as an aid to climbing, but are also very successfull in snagging clothes and flesh of anyone passing. It often requires a great deal of care to extracate oneself from these hooks without drawing blood, (hence the common names). Sterile inflorescences to 1.2 m long. Fertile inflorescence of 2 or 3 simple panicles, about 1 m long, the terminal end without flowers or spines. Flowers greenish. Male flowers with outer perianth about 2 mm long; inner tepals 3, 4–5 mm long; stamen 6. Female flowers with outer perianth 1–2 mm long; inner tepals 3 mm long; ovary 3-locular, covered with imbricate scales. Fruit globose, about 12 mm in diam., covered with scales, yellow to cream. Editing by edric.


Prefers it shady and moist. One of the more cold tolerant of the Calamus.

Comments and Curiosities

Aboriginal people used the stems for weaving. Surveyors in the early part of European settlement used one chain lengths of the stems as standard measures.

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 photo.

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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