Calamus altiscandens Burret, J. Arnold Arbor. 20: 196 (1939)

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Distribution

Map uses TDWG level 3 distributions (http://www.nhm.ac.uk/hosted_sites/tdwg/geogrphy.html)
New Guinea present (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Known only from the Palmer R., in the basin of the Fly R. A sterile collection from the Kikori basin may also belong to this species. (J. Dransfield & W.J. Baker, An Account of the Papuasian Species of Calamus (Arecaceae) with Paired Fruit. 2003)A

Discussion

  • This species is clearly related to C. macrochlamys but differs in the distinctive ocrea armature and the crowded erect rachillae. As yet, it is known only from pistillate material. It is easily distinguished by its ecirrate leaves with strongly grouped leaflets, densely armed sheaths and coriaceous persistent ocrea; the pistillate rachillae are crowded on each partial inflorescence and are held distinctively erect. Pistillate flowers are borne in triads of two pistillates and a sterile staminate and quadrads of two pistillates and two sterile staminates and, very rarely, three pistillates. The species is known from one collection only. Baker 1105, collected near Morere Village, 40 km NE of Kikori (AAU, BRI, K, L, LAE, NY), has an ocrea of a similar form to that of C. altiscandens and has similar armature and the leaflets are similarly grouped. However, the armature of the sheaths differs in the presence of large laminar reflexed spines to 4- 5 x 0.5 cm as well as spines similar to those on the sheaths of C. altiscandens. Unfortunately the collection is sterile. (J. Dransfield & W.J. Baker, An Account of the Papuasian Species of Calamus (Arecaceae) with Paired Fruit. 2003)A

Biology And Ecology

  • In lowland forest, particularly abundant in gullies between ridges, at c. 100 m above sea level. (J. Dransfield & W.J. Baker, An Account of the Papuasian Species of Calamus (Arecaceae) with Paired Fruit. 2003)A

Conservation

  • Data deficient. (J. Dransfield & W.J. Baker, An Account of the Papuasian Species of Calamus (Arecaceae) with Paired Fruit. 2003)A

Common Name

  • Not recorded. (J. Dransfield & W.J. Baker, An Account of the Papuasian Species of Calamus (Arecaceae) with Paired Fruit. 2003)A

Uses

  • Local uses not recorded. (J. Dransfield & W.J. Baker, An Account of the Papuasian Species of Calamus (Arecaceae) with Paired Fruit. 2003)A

Description

  • Moderately robust rattan climbing to the forest canopy (not known whether solitary or clustering). Stem with sheaths 28 - 35 mm diam., without sheaths to 16 mm diam.; internodes c. 15 cm long. Leaf ecirrate to 1.4 - 1.6 m long including petiole; sheath drying pale greenish brown, with caducous dark brown indument; spines very dense, mostly evenly distributed, occasionally joined basally into short horizontal groups, golden, 5 - 18 x 1 -4 mm, distally very slender, soft and laminar, the base much swollen and rigid, persistent, the rest of the spine frequently breaking off just above the swollen base; knee not very conspicuous, armed as the sheath; ocrea 18 x 4.5 cm, coriaceous, tubular, somewhat bilobed and split opposite the petiole, persistent, very densely armed with smaller and more slender spines than the sheaths, the spines frequently in short horizontal groups; flagellum present, at least 3 m long; petiole to 23 cm long, 12 mm wide, 6 mm thick at the base, adaxially flattened or slightly convex, abaxially rounded, with sparse caducous pale brown indument, and on all surfaces with abundant rigid persistent spines 2 - 6 mm long, with swollen bases; rachis to 140 cm long, armed with solitary or grouped recurved hooks abaxially, glabrous or with sparse pale brown caducous indument; leaflets 17 - 19 on each side of rachis, lanceolate, concolorous, arranged in distant groups of twos or threes or singly, basal leaflets to 44 x 4 cm, longest leaflet in mid-leaf 50 x 3.5 cm, apical leaflets 16 - 18 x 1.2 - 1.5 cm, united for about 1/4 their length, leaflets unarmed apart from very small spines along the margins, transverse veinlets conspicuous. Staminate inflorescence not seen. Staminate flowers not seen. Pistillate inflorescence of unknown length, but probably at least 1 m long, probably lacking a flagelliform tip; peduncle, prophyll and peduncular bracts not seen; rachis bracts to at least 30 x 1.5 cm, the longest near the base, with c. 12 cm exposed, proximally tubular, distally split to form an expanded limb to 10 x 4 cm with a triangular tip, the surface with thin caducous indument; primary branches at least 4, strongly recurved, to 21 cm long, 10 - 15 cm apart, with 13 - 18 rather crowded + erect rachillae, subtending bracts unarmed, striate, with triangular tips and somewhat expanded mouths; rachillae in young fruit 5.5 - 12 x 0.35 cm, drying dark brown; rachilla bracts unarmed, striate, 3 mm long with mouth c. 6 mm wide, with scattered dark scales; proximal floral bracteole cup-shaped, c. 2.5 x 2.5 mm, distal floral bracteole cup-shaped, c. 2 x 2 mm, scar from sterile staminate c. 0.3 mm diam. scar of pistillate flower c. 2 mm diam. Pistillate flowers borne in triads of two pistillate and one sterile staminate flowers, or three pistillate flowers, or quadrads of two pistillate and two sterile staminate flowers, not known in bud or anthesis; calyx in young fruit stage 3 x 2 mm with 3 triangular lobes 1.5 x 1.5 mm; petals c. 2.5 x 1 mm; staminodal ring to 0.7 mm high with 6 triangular lobes. Sterile staminate flowers not seen. Fruit (immature) ovoid, 5 x 4 mm with a beak to 0.5 mm, and covered in 17 vertical rows of pale yellowish channelled scales. Seed not yet developed. (J. Dransfield & W.J. Baker, An Account of the Papuasian Species of Calamus (Arecaceae) with Paired Fruit. 2003)A

Materials Examined

  • PAPUA NEW GUINEA. Western: Palmer R., Brass 7327 (holotype A, isotypes ?B†, L). (J. Dransfield & W.J. Baker, An Account of the Papuasian Species of Calamus (Arecaceae) with Paired Fruit. 2003)A

Bibliography

    A. J. Dransfield & W.J. Baker, An Account of the Papuasian Species of Calamus (Arecaceae) with Paired Fruit. 2003
    B. World Checklist of Arecaceae