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.
(probably means God-like, of divine appearance). Palmaceae, tribe Lepidocarpeae. Slender pinnate palms grown for their graceful foliage, but little known in Amer. outside of botanic gardens. Differs from Calamus (with which it is by some united) only in having the outer sheaths or spathes boat-shaped, deciduous, at first inclosing the inner sheaths; its more longly stalked flowers also separate it from Calamus. - About 85 species, all tropical Asiatic. Only a very few are in cultivation Treatment and general cultural conditions of Calamus. D. Draco produces some of the "dragon's blood" of commerce. See page 3568.
a. Young leaves green.
b. stems erect or climbing, sometimes both in one plant.
Mart. (Calamus calicarpus, Griff.). stem erect or climbing, 1 in. diam.: leaves 6-8 ft. long, upper small with long flagella; leaflets numerous, 12-13 in. long, 1/3-1/2in. wide; petiole 1 ft., the base not gibbous or puckered: fruit about 3/4in. diam., tawny. Malacca.
Blume. stem erect: leaves pinnate, 10-12 ft. long in nature, the pinnae long and narrow, dark green and drooping, furnished with many cirrhi, the petioles sharp-spined at the sheathing base: fruit yellow-green. Malaya. - Very decorative. A small form is variety microcarpus. Little known in U. S.
bb. stems always climbing.
Lewisianus, Mart. (Calamus Lewisianus, Griff.). stem climbing, 1 in. diam.: petiole 1 ft., base much swollen, armed below with scattered, short, deflexed spines, and above with straight and hooked spines 1 1/4 in. long; leaflets 13-15 in. long, 3/4 - l in. wide; sheath armed with solitary or seriate flat-back spines: fruit pale yellowish. Penang.
Mart. stem 15-20 ft., 3/4in. diam.: leaves long-petioled, 4-6 ft. long; leaflets opposite or scattered, 18-20 in. long, 1-1 1/2 in. wide, linear-lanceolate, acuminate, margins and 3-5 costae bristly above and below; rachis semi-cylindrical, sparingly armed; petiole 1 ft. long, with flattened spines. Malaya.
Blume. stem erect: leaves pinnate, broadly ovate, bright cinnamon-brown when young, and leaflets many, long, narrow, 1 1/2 ft. long, about 1/2in. wide; petioles erect, with stout spines on the back, which are deflexed and not thickened at the base and are arranged singly or in series. Sumatra. F. 1873, p. 136.
Miq. Height 15 ft.: resembles D. palembanicus, but the young leaves are nearly straw-colored, and the spines are placed in irregular rings. Sumatra. - A most graceful species.
D. plumosus, Hort. Graceful plume-like leaves, with pinnae 4 ft. or less long; petioles with rigid black spines with white bases. India. F. 1871, p. 39. - Not in cultivation in N. Amer.
Jared G. Smith.