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Calamus caesius - Blume

Common Name Rotan Sega
Family Arecaceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Usually in the lowlands on alluvial flats, seasonally flooded river banks, and margins of freshwater or peat-swamp forest, but not in permanent swamps. Occasionally found on drier sites up to 800 metres above sea-level[ 310 ].
Range Southeast Asia - Malaysia through Indonesia to the Philippines.
Edibility Rating    (2 of 5)
Other Uses    (4 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (0 of 5)
Care (info)
Tender Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Calamus caesius Rotan Sega

Dr. John Dransfield, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew/Palmweb.
Calamus caesius Rotan Sega
Rare Palm Seeds.com


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Rotan Sega or Calamus caesius is a tropical plant found in Asia. The fruits are edible and sold in markets. The stems are used as material for making furniture, baskets, handicraft, mats, etc. The round cane is resilient and durable with smooth golden surface hence considered as high-quality material in furniture manufacturing.

Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of climber
Calamus caesius is an evergreen Climber growing to 100 m (328ft) by 7 m (23ft) at a fast rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 10 and is frost tender.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils and can grow in very acid and very alkaline soils.
It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Palmijuncus caesius (Blume) Kuntze.Calamus glaucescens Blume [Illegitimate]. Palmijuncus glaucescens

Plant Habitats

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Fruit
Edible Uses:

Edible portion: Fruit. The fruit are eaten raw. Fruit are sold in markets and available in India from February to April.

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

None known

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

Basketry  Furniture  Raffia  String  Thatching  Weaving  Wood

Other uses rating: High (4/5). Other Uses: The stems are used by rural people for making furniture, baskets, mats, carpets, handicrafts, cordage, and in house construction, and sewing of 'atap' (thatch)[ 310 , 418 ]. The round cane, skin peel and core provide extremely important high-quality materials for the now highly developed and very sophisticated rattan furniture manufacturing industry[ 310 ]. Its unique glossy golden cane surface makes it highly sought after for making 'tatami' mats or rattan carpets for the lucrative Japanese market[ 310 ]. This species has a resilient and durable cane with a smooth golden surface. It is particularly suited for making high-quality rattan carpets ('tatami' mats) because of the siliceous glossy surface[ 310 ]. The quality of the cane is adversely affected by poor processing; it also depends on factors such as age, moisture content and the light conditions during growth (which affect the internodal length)[ 310 ].

Special Uses

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

A plant of the more humid, lowland tropics, where it is found at elevations up to 800 metres. High-climbing, evergreen rattan with canes reaching a length of 100 m. The clump is often rather close and dense. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 23 - 30°c, but can tolerate 16 - 34°c[ 418 ]. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 2,500 - 3,200mm, but tolerates 1,700 - 4,200mm[ 418 ]. Succeeds with its roots in deep shade, whilst its stems climb up to the sunlight[ 418 ]. Grows best on rich alluvial flats and other fertile land[ 310 ]. Prefers a pH in the range 5.5 - 7, tolerating 5 - 8[ 418 ]. Plants can grow on drier land, but growth is less vigorous[ 310 ]. Prefers a position in the dappled shade of the forest, with its stems climbing up towards the light[ 310 ]. Plants flourish under mild and seasonal flooding, but dislike severe floods[ 310 ]. Overhead shade should be manipulated at about 6-monthly intervals for 2 - 3 years to ensure seedlings receive sufficient light to grow vigorously. About 50% light/shade conditions are ideal for rattan growth Given the correct balance of shade and light, plants grow away quickly from seed. After 12 - 14 months the primary stem may exceed 1 metre; the first climbing whips and 1 or 2 sucker shoots may have already developed[ 310 ]. As the plant grows older, more and more suckers will be produced every year, probably up to ten per year. Some of these will develop into aerial stems while others remain dormant as bulbil-like shoots, thus forming a relatively compact cluster of aerial stems[ 310 ]. By year 10, the number of aerial stems may vary from 20 to 60 or more per cluster, depending on conditions of growing site and weather[ 310 ]. Aerial stems may grow at rates exceeding 4 - 5 metres per year[ 310 ]. Annual flowering may commence at an age of 4 - 5 years. Up to 4 inflorescences may be produced on one flowering stem, with each infructescence bearing 1,000 - 1,500 fruits[ 310 ]. Selective harvesting of mature canes can be carried out from the eighth year after planting[ 310 ]. Harvesting is carried out by cutting the rattan cane at about 30cm from the base, pulling the cane down out of the canopy as much as possible, removing the leaf-sheaths by twisting the cane around a tree trunk or hitting it with a knife. The cane, divested of its sheaths, is then cut into lengths of about 6 metres and bent, and tied in bundles of 100 pieces. Inevitably, lengths of canes will be left in the canopy and cannot be pulled out because they are entangled with the tree branches. More efficient mechanical methods of harvesting for large commercial plantation have yet to be developed. Canes should be processed soon after harvesting, in order to maintain their quality[ 310 ]. Highly variable yield figures, ranging from 1.5 - 3 tonnes/ha per year, have been provided by cultivators and researchers. Based on a surviving population of 500 plants/ha in a commercial plantation, a cane growth rate of 2.5 metres/year and 36 000 metres of dry canes to yield one ton, the yield has been estimated to increase from 0.5 tonnes/ha per year in year 9 from planting to 1.5 tonnes/ha per year in year 12 and thereafter[ 310 ]. This species is closely related to C. Optimus and C. Trachycoleusc. Whereas this species and C. Optimus produce short horizontal stolons not exceeding about 8 cm, C. Trachycoleus produces long horizontal stolons up to 1 metre or more long. As a result, this species produces a relatively compact cluster of aerial stems whereas .C. Trachycoleus has a diffuse colony of aerial stems which are more widely spaced and hence compete less with each other. The diffuse colony of C. Trachycoleus makes it an aggressive colonizer and a potentially higher cane yielder[ 310 ]. A dioecious species, both male and female forms need to be grown if fruit and seed are required.

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

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Plant Propagation

Seed. Rattan fruits should be processed and sown as soon as possible after collection in order to maintain their viability. During processing, scales and sarcotesta are removed by repeated rubbing and washing. Cleaned seeds should be stored in a cool and shady place if they are not sown immediately after processing. Seeds are sown about 1 cm deep in a seed-bed constructed under shelter. The sowing medium should be sandy loam or loam with a top layer of 2 cm of sawdust to enhance moisture retention in the sowing medium. Regular watering is essential to keep the seeds and sowing medium moist. Most seeds germinate within 3 - 4 weeks[ 310 ]. Seedlings are potted in black polythene bags of about 15 cm deep and 15 cm in diameter when the shoots have emerged 2 - 3 cm above the sawdust. Seedlings are nursed in these bags for 9 months or more under semi-shade provided by plastic shading sheet, palm fronds or other appropriate materials. Seedlings 40 - 50 cm tall are ready for planting out in the field. Rubber trees, bungor (Lagerstroemia sp.) and even fruit trees have been used by smallholders to provide shade and support[ 310 ]. Although it can be propagated by using sucker shoots, cultivation is best effected using seed.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Rotan Sega or Calamus caesius. Common Names: Heiree, Rotan sega perak, Rotan saog, Huwi sahsah.

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Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Found In: Asia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Northeastern India, SE Asia.

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

None Known

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed.

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Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


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A special thanks to Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.

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