Daemonorops sparsiflora Becc., Rec. Bot. Surv. India 2: 224 (1902)

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Map uses TDWG level 3 distributions (http://www.nhm.ac.uk/hosted_sites/tdwg/geogrphy.html)
Borneopresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Throughout Brunei. Elsewhere a few records from Kalimantan, abundant in Sabah and Sarawak. Endemic to Borneo. (J. Dransfield, The Rattans of Brunei Darussalam. 1997)A


  • D. sparsiflora is a common rattan usually found associated with richer soils in primary and disturbed forest, in valley bottoms, lower hill slopes and riverside alluvium at altitudes up to about 1000m above sea level. It is an unmistakable rattan with its very neat leaflets and sparsely spiny sheaths; the sudden and neat contraction of the leaflets is highly diagnostic. Seedlings are exquisite and would make fine ornamentals; but for the sparseness of fine bristles they could be confused with seedlings of rattans related to Calamus hispidulus. (J. Dransfield, The Rattans of Brunei Darussalam. 1997)A



  • Slender to moderately robust clustering rattan with stems to 20 m, frequently flowering when much less; stem without sheaths 8-18 mm diam., with sheaths to 27 mm diam., internodes to c. 20 cm long. Sheaths dull to bright green, armed with scattered rather broad-based, triangular yellowish-brown or green spines, rarely exceeding 15 mm, and brown indumentum; knee conspicuous. Leaf cirrate to c. 2 m including petiole to 20 cm and cirrus to 80 cm; leaflets c. 50 on each side of the rachis, stiff, to 25 × 1 cm, usually very close and regular, parallel-sided, abruptly and neatly narrowed at the base and acuminate in drip-tips to 2 cm long, upper surface with main rib bristly and a row of bristles on each side, margins bristly, lower leaflet surface sparsely to densely covered with minute brown scales and only mid rib bristly. Inflorescences bright reddish-brown at anthesis, arching away from the stem to 40 cm only, primary bracts soon falling, other bracts very inconspicuous; flowers borne on distinct short stalks; first order branches c. 6, each to c. 12 cm, crowded, covered with brown indumentum. Mature fruit rounded (immature occasionally ovoid), rarely exceeding 1 cm diam., covered in 14-16 vertical rows of dull brown scales. Seed ± rounded, c. 6 mm diam.; sarcotesta sweet, thin; endosperm deeply ruminate. Seedling leaf pinnate with c. 6 leaflets on each side of the rachis, very neatly and stiffly held. (Fig. 25, Pl. 5B). (J. Dransfield, The Rattans of Brunei Darussalam. 1997)A

Materials Examined

  • BEL: Bukit Sawat, Sg.Mau-Sg. Belait confluence, Wong 1621; Kuala Balai, K.Balai, BRUN 15649; Labi, Wong 69. TEM: Amo, Bt.Belalong, Wong 1420; Amo, Bt.Retak, Wong 832; Amo, K.Belalong, Dransfield J. 6656. TUT: Lamunin, Kpg.Lamunin, Wong 54. Without prov.: BRUN 15095; BRUN 15200 (J. Dransfield, The Rattans of Brunei Darussalam. 1997)A