Calamus vitiensis

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Calamus (KAL-ah-muhs)
vitiensis (vee-tee-EN-sis)
7244317428 759c9f661c oz.jpg
Cape Kimberley road, near Cape Tribulation, QLD.
Scientific Classification
Genus: Calamus (KAL-ah-muhs)
vitiensis (vee-tee-EN-sis)
Calamus vanuatuensis, (former name, until 1993)
Native Continent
Leaf type: Pinnate
Survivability index
Common names
FIJI: Ngganuya (Taveuni) NEW GUINEA: Wusiu (Manus). SOLOMON ISLANDS: Kalitao, Kalitau (Kwaraae). VANUATU: Gawolo (Vanua Lava).

Habitat and Distribution

Calamus vitiensis is endemic to Bismarck Archipelago, Fiji, New Guinea, Queensland, Solomon Is.,
Cape Kimberley road, near Cape Tribulation, QLD.
and Vanuatu. Known from scattered records in Papua New Guinea (Manus, Morobe, Madang, Southern Highlands), Australia (Queensland, as far south as Dunk Island), the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Fiji; the most easterly occurring species, in the genus Calamus. Various types of primary, and secondary forest vegetations, 60 - 750 m. Indigenous to Fiji, This palm is most wide-spread on Taveuni, but can also be found on some of the other islands. (W.J. Baker, R.P Bayton, J. Dransfield and R.A Maturbongs. 2003)/Palmweb.


A climbing palm, with small black thorns on the stem, and along the leaf rachis, that also extends up to 1.5 meters beyond the end leaflets like a spiny whip. These hook like thorns, allow the palm to climb by attaching to neighbouring foliage. The palm can be seen holding itself erect, up to 4 meters and is quiet attractive with its shiny dark green leaflets, a light brown petiole, and very few thorns when young. Fruits are about 1 cm. round with attractive white scales. Editing by edric.


This palm requires shade when young, it will grow upwards needing support, after 4 to 6 meters in height.

Comments and Curiosities

Uses: General cordage, cane for tying houses, for making swings for children, sap from cut stem used for curing eye ailments. (W.J. Baker, R.P Bayton, J. Dransfield and R.A Maturbongs. 2003)/Palmweb.

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).

Baker, W.J. , Bayton, R.P , Dransfield, J. & Maturbongs, R.A. 2003. A revision of the Calamus aruensis (Arecaceae) complex in New Guinea and the Pacific. Kew Bulletin 58: 351-370.

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

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