Calamus gibbsianus Becc., Ann. Roy. Bot. Gard. (Calcutta) 11(App.): 58 (1913)

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Map uses TDWG level 3 distributions (
Borneo present (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
In Sarawak known only from one collection from the Kelabit Highlands. Elsewhere in montane forest on Kinabalu and the Crocker Range at elevations of 1400-3000m. (Dransfield, J. 1992: The Rattans of Sarawak)A


  • C. gibbsianus is a very polymorphic species and reaches the highest altitude of any palm in Borneo. It has a characteristic inflorescence with strongly curved branches bearing conspicuous saucerlike bracteoles below the flowers or fruit, and the leaflets always have a conspicuous tuft of reddish-brown hair on the undersurface at the base. (Dransfield, J. 1992: The Rattans of Sarawak)A


  • Lillian Suzette Gibbs, 1870 - 1925, plant collector who made an important expedition to Kinabalu (Dransfield, J. 1992: The Rattans of Sarawak)A


  • In Sabah used for general tying and weaving by successive expeditions to Kinabalu. (Dransfield, J. 1992: The Rattans of Sarawak)A


  • Slender clustering montane rattan climbing to 8 m, rarely more, very rarely ± stemless; stem without sheaths 4-8 mm diam., with sheaths 7-30 mm diam., internodes short, rarely exceeding 10 cm. Sheaths dull mid to dark green, sparsely to densely armed with pale green spines to 7 mm, occasionally also with minute spicules arranged in partial whorls, sheaths and spines all densely covered in brown indumentum; knee conspicuous; ocrea inconspicuous to well developed, armed with groups of spicules or bristles. Flagellum to 1 m, rarely absent. Leaf ecirrate, onclimbing stems to 70 cm, more in stemless forms; petiole 3-18 cm, sparsely to densely armed; rachis covered with rusty-brown hairs; leaflets regularly arranged, 6 - 20 on each side of the rachis, distant to crowded, lanceolate, mid-leaf leaflets 45 -200 x 7 - 25 mm, usually very densely covered with minute spine-like papillae or short bristles on the undersurface and occasionally also on the upper surface, always with a dense tuft of orange to red-brown hairs on the undersurface at the leaflet base. Inflorescence usually to c. 1m long, with 1-4 partial inflorescences to c. 10 cm, strongly recurved and bearing short recurved rachillae, large conspicuous bracteoles and relatively large flowers. Mature fruit spherical to ovoid, to 16 x 12 mm, tipped by a short beak to 1 x 1 mm and covered in 15 - 18 vertical rows of pale brown, black-edged scales; seed ovoid to ± oblong, to 14 x 7 mm, deeply pitted and grooved; endosperm subruminate. Seedling leaf pinnate with c. 6 leaflets (Fig. 56). (Dransfield, J. 1992: The Rattans of Sarawak)A


    A. Dransfield, J. 1992: The Rattans of Sarawak
    B. World Checklist of Arecaceae