All Floras      Advanced Search
FOC Vol. 23 Page 132, 133, 135 Login | eFloras Home | Help
FOC | Family List | FOC Vol. 23 | Arecaceae

3. Calamus Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 1: 325. 1753.

省藤属 sheng teng shu

Cornera Furtado; Palmijuncus Kuntze; Rotang Adanson; Rotanga Boehmer; Schizospatha Furtado; Zalaccella Beccari.

Stems clustered or less often solitary, mostly slender and climbing, occasionally non-climbing and then either short and subterranean or free standing. Leaves 10-60, pinnate, spiny; sheaths closed in climbing stems, open in non-climbers, variously hairy and spiny, hairs of young sheaths soon wearing off; sheath spines scattered or densely arranged (rarely absent), or arranged in rows, occasionally hairy on margins, variously shaped and colored, sometimes arranged in overlapping, interlocking rings and forming chambers; sheath apices usually extended above point of insertion of petiole into an inconspicuous or prominent ocrea; knees present in climbing stems; flagella present in climbers, whiplike and armed with small, grapnel-like spines; cirri present in few species (and then flagella absent, and vice versa); pinnae variously arranged and shaped, occasionally whitish or gray on abaxial surfaces. Plants dioecious. Inflorescences usually elongate, branched to 3 orders, male inflorescences more branched than female ones; branches and rachillae covered with overlapping bracts with clawed spines on outer surfaces in climbers; male flowers borne along opposite sides of rachillae; female flowers borne in pairs with a sterile male flower, along opposite sides of rachillae. Fruits mostly small, variously shaped and colored, usually 1-seeded, sometimes pedicellate, always covered with overlapping scales, these sometimes with a groove down middle; endosperm homogeneous or ruminate; germination adjacent; eophylls bifid or pinnate.

About 385 species: from W Africa, India, and Sri Lanka through S and SE Asia to Australia and the Pacific islands; 28 species (15 endemic) in China.

Calamus palustris Griffith (Calcutta J. Nat. Hist. 5: 60. 1845) has been reported from China, but no reliable fertile material has been seen (Henderson, Palms S. Asia, 80. 2009). Calamus latifolius Roxburgh (Hort. Bengal. 73. 1814) has been recorded from China as well (e.g., in Govaerts et al. 2010. World Checklist of Arecaceae. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet; accessed 6 May 2010); however, the species group to which it belongs is complex and not well understood, so the record is thought to be best excluded.

1 Stems non-climbing, free standing or short and subterranean; knees, flagella, and cirri usually absent; inflorescence bracts without clawed spines   (2)
+ Stems climbing; knees, flagella, and/or cirri usually present; inflorescence bracts with clawed spines   (6)
2 (1) Pinnae whitish abaxially   (3)
+ Pinnae green abaxially   (4)
3 (2) Pinnae 11-15 per side of rachis, lanceolate to broadly lanceolate, irregularly arranged in distant clusters.   1 C. oxycarpus
+ Pinnae 30-45 per side of rachis, linear, regularly arranged but with gaps.   2 C. macrorrhynchus
4 (2) Petioles and rachis with whorls of yellow spines.   3 C. erectus
+ Petioles and rachis without whorls of yellow spines   (5)
5 (4) Pinnae regularly arranged and spreading in same plane.   4 C. dianbaiensis
+ Pinnae irregularly arranged in remote clusters and spreading in different planes.   5 C. thysanolepis
6 (1) Flagella absent; cirri present   (7)
+ Flagella present; cirri absent   (13)
7 (6) Pinnae 3-10 per side of rachis   (8)
+ Pinnae 14-40 per side of rachis   (9)
8 (7) Pinnae to 5 per side of rachis, regularly arranged; fruits globose to ellipsoid, to 1 × 0.8 cm, not stalked, scales not grooved.   6 C. compsostachys
+ Pinnae to 10 per side of rachis, clustered in alternate pairs; fruits ovoid to ellipsoid, to 1.8 × 1.2 cm, stalked, with grooved scales.   7 C. austroguangxiensis
9 (7) Stems solitary.   8 C. siphonospathus
+ Stems clustered   (10)
10 (9) Pinnae 18 or 19 per side of rachis; Taiwan.   9 C. formosanus
+ Pinnae 14-40 per side of rachis; Hainan, Yunnan   (11)
11 (10) Pinnae 36-40 per side of rachis; Yunnan.   10 C. nambariensis
+ Pinnae 14-22 per side of rachis; Hainan   (12)
12 (11) Pinnae clustered in alternate groups of 2 or 3.   11 C. egregius
+ Pinnae regularly arranged.   12 C. simplicifolius
13 (6) Pinnae 3-16 per side of rachis, usually irregularly arranged, apical ones inserted close together in a fan shape, apical pair free or joined at their bases   (14)
+ Pinnae 27-70 per side of rachis, apical ones not inserted close together in a fan shape, apical pair not joined at their bases   (19)
14 (13) Pinnae whitish abaxially.   13 C. albidus
+ Pinnae green abaxially   (15)
15 (14) Stems to 5 cm in diam.; petioles very short or absent; ocreas densely bristly; pinnae broadly lanceolate.   14 C. acanthospathus
+ Stems to 2 cm in diam.; petioles usually present and well developed; ocreas not or rarely densely bristly; pinnae linear to lanceolate, not broadly lanceolate   (16)
16 (15) Pinnae regularly arranged but with wide gaps between groups, shiny green, curled over at tips   (17)
+ Pinnae regularly arranged or clustered, dull green, not curled over at tips   (18)
17 (16) Fruits to 2 × 1 cm.   15 C. gracilis
+ Fruits to 2.7 × 2 cm.   16 C. hainanensis
18 (16) Leaf sheath spines subulate, not longer at sheath apices (rarely spines absent).   17 C. tetradactylus
+ Leaf sheath spines needlelike, longer at sheath apices.   18 C. tetradactyloides
19 (13) Leaf sheath spines arranged in rows   (20)
+ Leaf sheath spines not in rows   (21)
20 (19) Leaf sheaths with needlelike spines to 2.5 cm, not longer at sheath apices.   19 C. beccarii
+ Leaf sheaths with flattened spines to 4(-10 at sheath apices) cm.   20 C. rhabdocladus
21 (19) Pinnae strongly clustered, spreading in different planes   (22)
+ Pinnae not strongly clustered, spreading in same plane   (24)
22 (21) Fruits black.   21 C. melanochrous
+ Fruits brown, whitish, or yellowish   (23)
23 (22) Ocreas short; knees present; fruits to 1 cm in diam..   22 C. viminalis
+ Ocreas to 35 cm, soon tattered; knees absent; fruits to 2.5 cm in diam..   23 C. wuliangshanensis
24 (21) Leaf sheath spines upward pointing; ocreas conspicuous, tattering and soon falling; inflorescence bracts not sheathing, split open and flat, brown.   24 C. guruba
+ Leaf sheath spines not upward pointing; ocreas short, inconspicuous; inflorescence bracts not split open and flat, not brown   (25)
25 (24) Leaf sheath spines densely arranged, to 5.5(-10 at sheath apices) cm, interspersed with shorter spines.   25 C. flagellum
+ Leaf sheath spines scattered, to 2.5 cm (not longer or to 7 cm at sheath apices), usually not interspersed with shorter spines   (26)
26 (25) Ocreas densely bristly; leaf sheath spines not longer at sheath apices; inflorescence bracts not tattering.   26 C. walkeri
+ Ocreas not densely bristly; leaf sheath spines sometimes longer at sheath apices; inflorescence bracts tattering   (27)
27 (26) Leaf sheaths with spines to 2 cm (sometimes to 7 cm at sheath apices).   27 C. henryanus
+ Leaf sheaths with spines to 1.5 cm (sometimes to 3 cm at sheath apices).   28 C. multispicatus

  • List of lower taxa


    Related Objects  
  • Calamus (PDF)
  • PDF

  • Flora of China @
    Browse by
    Advanced Search

    Flora of China Home




     |  eFlora Home |  People Search  |  Help  |  ActKey  |  Hu Cards  |  Glossary  |