The rattan palms, or calamus, include twenty or more species of slender growing and very graceful palms that are found in a wild state in various parts of the tropics, chiefly in India or the East Indies.
Some of the species become climbers in their native country and are said to attain a length of stem of 200 to 300 feet and to trail over the tops of forest trees in Java and Borneo, but the subject of our illustration is one of the smaller growing species and not likely to outgrow its accommodations for a period of several years at least.
Calamus ciliaris is a particularly graceful palm in a young state, having a slender, reedlike stem and finely divided pinnate leaves. The leaves of this species are light green, the pinnae narrow and arranged very closely on the stem, and the foliage is rather soft to the touch, owing to its being covered with short, hairlike bristles.
C. ciliaris is essentially a warm house palm, flourishing in a temperature of 70 to 75 degrees, with abundant moisture, its tropical jungle habitat giving us some idea as to its cultural wants.
The leaves of this species being rather thin in texture, it is liable to attacks of red spider unless freely syringed and watered, but when well grown is very attractive and, while not adapted for all trade purposes, is a valuable and effective plant for many special occasions. C. ciliaris suckers freely around the base and by careful handling these suckers may be removed and established, but it is necessary to keep them rather close and warm for a time in order to encourage the new roots, and also to be careful that they are not allowed to get too dry. W. H. T.