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Calamus rotang - L.

Common Name Rattan, Rotang, Rattan Cane
Family Arecaceae
USDA hardiness 11-12
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Common in coastal fresh water swamp forests, frequent along fresh water streams of lower hill valleys.
Range E. Asia - India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar.
Edibility Rating    (2 of 5)
Other Uses    (4 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care (info)
Tender Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Calamus rotang Rattan, Rotang, Rattan Cane


https://edibleplants.org/
Calamus rotang Rattan, Rotang, Rattan Cane
https://edibleplants.org/

 

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Summary

Rattan Cane or Calamus rotang is a dioecious rattan palm that grows up to 10 m tall and 200 m wide. It is native to India, Sri Lanka, and Myanmar but can now be found throughout Southeast Asia. The leaves are pinnate, alternate and with spines on the upper face. The flowers are clustered and enclosed by spiny spathes. Young shoots are cooked and eaten as vegetable. The fruits are edible as well and yield an astringent red resin known as 'Dragon's blood'. Dragon?s blood is used as a dye, in painting, and in medicine against respiratory and gastrointestinal problems. It is also used as treatment for wound, diarrhoea, fever, dysentery, mouth ulcers, and skin conditions. The wood of C. rotang is also used medicinally to expel intestinal worms. The leaves are used for biliousness and blood diseases, and the root for fevers and as antidote to snake venom. C. rotang yields the best rattan cane among other species. It is split into strips and plaited, used in baskets, chairs, and carriages, made into ropes, etc.


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of climber
Calamus rotang is an evergreen Climber growing to 25 m (82ft) by 5 m (16ft) at a fast rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 10 and is frost tender. The plant is not self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Calamus monoecus Roxb. Calamus roxburghii Griff. Draco rotang Crantz Palmijuncus monoecus (Roxb.) Ku

Habitats

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Fruit  Shoots
Edible Uses:

Edible portion: Shoots, Fruit. Young shoots - cooked and eaten as a vegetable[ 317 ]. Fruit - raw[ 2 ]. When ripe the fruit is roundish, as large as a hazelnut and is covered with small, shining scales, laid like shingles, one upon the other. The subacid pulp which surrounds the kernel is sucked out and eaten as a means of quenching the thirst[ 2 ]. Sometimes the fruit is pickled with salt and eaten at tea-time[ 2 ]. The globose fruits are about 13mm in diameter.

References

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.


The wood is vermifuge[ 240 ]. The leaves are used in the treatment of biliousness and diseases of the blood[ 240 ]. The root is used in the treatment of chronic fevers and as an antidote to snake venom[ 240 ].

References

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An important new book from PFAF. It focuses on the attributes of plants suitable for food forests, what each can contribute to a food forest ecosystem, including carbon sequestration, and the kinds of foods they yield. The book suggests that community and small-scale food forests can provide a real alternative to intensive industrialised agriculture, and help to combat the many inter-related environmental crises that threaten the very future of life on Earth.

Read More

FOOD FOREST PLANTS

Other Uses

Other uses rating: High (4/5). Other Uses: This is the species which yields the best Rattan Cane of commerce. Other species are, however, used as substitutes. It is split into strips and plaited or woven into baskets, chairs, sofas, and carriages. It is twisted into ropes, or stretched entire across rivers, as the main supports of indigenous suspension bridges[ 387 ]. The core of the cane is made into furniture, basketry etc[ 317 ]. The skin peel is used for weaving of chair seats and bags[ 317 ].

Special Uses

References

Cultivation details

Most species in this genus are more or less vigorous climbing plants in rainforests. In general, they are likely to grow best with their roots in the shade but with their stems able to grow up to the light. They are also likely to grow best in a humus-rich soil[ K ]. A dioecious species, both male and female forms need to be grown if fruit and seed are required.

References

Temperature Converter

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Propagation

Seed

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Rattan Cane or Calamus rotang. Other Names: Bet, Chachi bet, Heart, Pemu, Perambu, Raigong, Tingdon, Vetasa, Vetra, Rattan, Rotang, Rattan Cane

Found In

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

Found In: Asia, Australia, Bangladesh, East Timor, India, Northeastern India, SE Asia, Sri Lanka, Timor-Leste.

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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Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here
A special thanks to Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.

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