This section is from the book "The Standard Cyclopedia Of Horticulture Vol2", by L. H. Bailey. See also: Western Garden Book: More than 8,000 Plants - The Right Plants for Your Climate - Tips from Western Garden Experts.
(Greek For Reed)
Palmaceae, tribe Lepido-cdrpae. A group of interesting, usually climbing pinnate palms of the Old World tropics, not much known to the trade although over thirty species are in the European catalogues.
Stems very slender, always more or less prickly, usually climbing and never bearing a terminal infloresence: leaves alternate, pinnate, often ending in a terminal sometimes elongated cirrus, by which they are attached to their support; leaflets narrow, with 1-5 nerves; If . - sheaths at first completely inclosing the internodes, sometimes split and open: spadix laterally attached at the summit of the leaf - sheaths, often elongate and slender and frequently ending in a tail-like appendage (flagellum) which is thorny; spathes long and narrow, hardly if at all split, differing from Daemonorops which has a readily opening spathe; flowers dioecious, paniculate or branched 2 or 3 times; corolla coriaceous, longer than the calyx in male flowers, as long as the calyx in the female: fruit globose, ovoid or ellipsoid, topped by a short permanent style. - There are more than 200 species, most of which inhabit India. See Beccari's excellent monograph Ann. Royal. Bot. Gard. Calcutta 11, 1908.
Calamus is an easily grown group of palms, very ornamental, even in a young state. Some of the species have stems several hundred feet long, which enable them to unfold their leaves at the tops of the tallest trees. The leaves are peculiarly well adapted to assist the plant in climbing, having numerous hook-like processes arranged on a long continuation of the midrib of the leaf. When accommodations can be given, these plants should be selected, as their growth is rapid, and they are capable of furnishing a large conservatory quickly. Numerous suckers are produced, so that when the main stem ascends the lower part is clothed in foliage. Calamus tenuis (or C. Royleanus) and C. Rolang furnish the rattan canes. Malacca canes are furnished by C. Scipionum. - Young plants thrive best in a rooting medium containing a considerable quantity of leaf-mold. Older plants need soil of a more lasting nature; a quantity of ground bone and charcoal in the soil may be used to advantage. Old well-furnished plants need enormous quantities of water.
All of them require stove temperature. (G. W. Oliver.)
Blume. stem slender, climbing by means of long axillary leafless branches, covered with short hooked spines: leaves 1 1/2 - 2 1/2 ft. long,. 6 in. wide; leaflets 40-50 on each side, hairy; petiole 2 in. long with few hooked spines: spadix of female and male flowers finely hairy-hispid on the spathes: fruit globose, about 1/2 in. diam. Java and Sumatra. F.R. 1:607. G.C. III. 21:86. - Intro, into cult, in 1869. To be grown in tropical house.
Blume. stem slender, climbing by the prickly cirrus of the leaves and the prickly branches: leaves without stalks, about 18 in. long, bearing not more than 8-10 thin, papery, irregularly placed leaflets on each side of the rachis: spadix simply decompound, about 7 ft. long, terminating in a slender prickly appendage. Mts. of Java. - Can be grown in a cooler house than the preceding.
C. Andreanum, Hort., Pill & Mitterb=(?). - C. calicarpus, Griff. =Daemonorops calicarpus, Mart. - C. dealbatus. Hort,=Acantho-phoenix rubra, Wendl. - C. Lewisianus, Griff.=Daemonorops Lewis-ianus, Mart. N. Taylor.