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Calamus manan - Miq.

Common Name Rotan Manau
Family Arecaceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Usually confined to hill dipterocarp forest, it is rarely found in lowland dipterocarp forest, and then mainly near steep slopes[ 310 ]. It is most abundant at elevations between 600 - 1,000 metres, with a total range between 50 - 1,000 metres[ 310 ].
Range Southeast Asia - Malaysia through to Indonesia and Borneo.
Edibility Rating    (0 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 manan Rotan Manau

Malaysian Biological Diversity.
Calamus manan Rotan Manau
Dr. John Dransfield, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew/Palmweb.


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Rotan Manau or Calamus manan is a vigorous, high climbing, single stem, dioecious plant with a strong cane up to 8cm in diameter. This species in particular has the best quality cane. Stems of rotan manau are used in making furniture. Found In: Perak, Selangor, Kelantan, Pahang, Trengganu, Negri Sembilan, Johore. Sumatra, Borneo, and S. Thailand. Common names: Rotan Manau

Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of climber
Calamus manan is an evergreen Climber growing to 100 m (328ft) by 7 m (23ft) at a fast rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 10 and is frost tender.
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


Calamus giganteus Becc.


Edible Uses

None known


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


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Other Uses

Other uses rating: High (4/5). Other Uses: The stems are used for making furniture[ 310 ]. This species is said to produce the best quality large-diameter cane in the genus, and it is much sought after for making furniture[ 310 ]. The cane is variable in size and colouration. It is durable, has great strength and flexibility and is used mainly as the framework of furniture[ 310 ]. Growth rates of over 7 m a year.

Special Uses


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 ]. About 24 months after field planting, the cirri develop, after which the aerial stems may grow at rates between 1 - 3 metres or more per year[ 310 ]. Flowering may begin in the fifth year after planting and is annual thereafter[ 310 ] Seedlings are produced abundantly in hill forests[ 310 ]. A period of 15 years is estimated for plantation-grown plants to reach harvestable state[ 310 ] Harvesting of the stems involves dragging the rattan from the canopy, removing dead leaf-sheaths and debris and discarding the uppermost 2 - 3 metres, which are immature and too soft for use. The leaf-sheaths and debris are usually removed by coiling and pulling the rattan stem around a conveniently placed small tree trunk, resulting in a clean stem. The cane is then cut into 3 metre lengths suitable for bundling and transport out of the forest to the processor. A dioecious species, both male and female forms need to be grown if fruit and seed are required.


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Seed - needs to be sown as soon as possible since it has a very short viability. The fruit wall and the fleshy seed-coat must be removed before sowing and the clean seeds kept moist, as any drying out will cause the embryo to die. Seeds are usually sown in seed-beds in the shade. They germinate in 3 - 15 weeks[ 310 ]. They are potted in polybags when the first leaf has emerged. Once potted, seedlings should be kept in the shade and provided with plenty of moisture without waterlogging. Seedlings are usually ready for planting 9 - 12 months after transplanting into bags and require tree support[ 310 ]. Seedlings require about 50% relative light intensity for establishment and growth[ 310 ]. Seed stored will not tolerate temperatures below 10C for periods exceeding 2 months and seed moisture content needs to be about 50%; whole fresh fruits can be stored up to 2 weeks in well ventilated conditions at 22-28C without appreciable loss of viability[ 310 ].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Rotan Manau or Calamus manan.

Found In

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

Found In: Perak, Selangor, Kelantan, Pahang, Trengganu, Negri Sembilan, Johore. Sumatra, Borneo, and S. Thailand.

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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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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