Bamboo and Rattan/Rattan/Course-1 Unit-4

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In the following section important species of rattans are briefly described. The description for each species is accompanied by the correct botanical name with author citation, vernacular names, plant description, flowering fruiting period, distribution and indication to usage.

Canes of Andamans

Canes of Western Ghats

Canes of Northeast India

Calamus acanthospathus Griff.

Vern. Name: Jati (Assamese), Tasar(Nishing), Esong(Adi).

Medium robust climber, cluster forming, stem with leaf sheath 3-5cm and without 1.5-2cm in thickness, with swollen based thick medium sized spines scattered on the leaf sheath, knee prominent. Leaves ecirrate, 1-1.5m long; petiole usually small, 10-15 cm, petiole and rachis with robust digitate claws; indumentum through out the rachis, leaflets large, 6-8 nerved, smooth, alternate, broadly lanceolate, terminal leaflets slightly connate at base, range in size 30-40cm X 4-6cm. Inflorescence flagelliform, Female rachillae sub-scorpioid, 5-7cm long. Fruit broadly ovoid, 2-5 X 1.5cm in size, orange in colour, fruit scales in 15 series, shining, channeled at middle.
Flowering  : May-June
Fruiting  : October-November
Distribution: Bhutan, India: West Bengal, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Sikkim

Found between an altitude of 1200-2000m metres above sea-level.

Utilization: It has high demand in furniture industry. The species is also used for the construction of cane suspension bridges. It is used for making baskets, etc. and as food.

The species can be easily identified due to its broad leaflets arranged regularly.

Calamus flagellum Griff.

Vern. Name : Raidang(Assamese), Ramang(Adi), Thare(Nishing)

Stem cluster forming, thickness with leaf sheath 3-5cm and without 2-3cm in diameter. Armed with long subulate black 4-6cm long spines ; knee prominent; flagellum long. Leaves ecirrate, 2-3.5m long; petiole terete, 50-60cm in length armed with long subulate spines, ; leaflets many, equidistant, broadly ensiform, 50-80cm X 3-5cm in size, rachis armed with strong claw like spines. Inflorescence flagelliform, 5-6m long, simply decompound, axial part armed with claws; partial inflorescence 1-1.3m long with 3-5 rachillae on each side. Fruits large, ovoid, 3-5cm X 2.5cm in size, deeply channelled at middle.
Flowering  : April-May
Fruiting  : September-October
Distribution: Sikkim, Assam, Meghalaya, West Bengal, Arunachal Pradesh. Found up to an altitude of 1000m metres above sea-level.
Utilization: This is a highly priced cane for furniture making and for baskets. The fruits are used as betel nuts and the leaves are used for thatching.

C. gracilis Roxb.

Vern. Name : Chuli beth (Assamese), Reme (Hill Miri)

Slender, cluster forming, climber, thickness with leaf sheath 1-2 cm and without 0.5-1 cm in diameter. Leaf sheath with flagellum, armed with long and short subulate spines. Leaves cirrate 60-80 cm long ; leaf lets in groups with 2-4 leaflets in each opposite groups, narrowly oblanceolate, 10-14 in number, 4-nerved, spiny, lower side smooth, petiole, 20-30 cm, concavo – convex, armed with straight spines along the margins leaflets ranges 40-60 cm x 1.2 cm, in size ; terminal leaf lets connate at base. Inflorescence flagelliform delicately branched; Fruit broadly ovoid, 1.5 cm x 1 cm in size, straw yellow in color, deeply channeled at middle, arranged in 21 longitudinal series. Seed ovoid.
Flowering  : April – May
Fruiting  : October-November

Distribution : Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam: - Found up to an altitude of 1200 metres above sea level
Utilisation: One of the most sought after rattans for furniture due to its thinnest canes. These are used for paneling and decoration. Fruits are edible.

C. khasianus Becc.

Vern. Name : Takat (Adi, Nishing)
Thick robust climbers, cluster forming, thickness with leaf sheath 4-5 cm and without 2-3 cm in diameter. Stem sparingly covered with large broad based spines intermingled with small spines. Knee prominent smooth ; Leaves cirrate, 5-6 m; leaflets numerous, lanceolate in groups of 2-4 on each side of the rachis, 50-70 cm x 5-8 cm in size, 5-nerved, smooth. Male inflorescence decompound 3-4 m; Female inflorescence 1.5-2 m long. Fruits globose 3 cm in diameter, 18 series of scales deeply channeled at middle, seed globose, centrally pitted.
Flowering : April-May.
Fruiting  : October-January
Distribution: Endemic to North East India Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, W. Bengal up to an altitude of 1000 metres above se-level.
Utilisation: Very strong cane, used in furniture industry for making chair bottoms and frame works.

C. latifolius Roxb.

Vern. Name: Takat (Nishing, Hill Miri)
Robust climbers, cluster forming. Thickness with leaf sheath 3-4.5 cm and without 2.5-3.5 cm in diameter. The leaf sheath covered with large, swollen based, spines 2-3 cm long; knee prominent. Leaves cirrate 2-4 m long, rachis terete in cross section without claws on ventral side; leaf lets inequidistant, clustered as groups, leaf lets 55-75 cm x 8-12 cm in size, 4-6 nerved. Inflorescence simply decompound. Female inflorescence rigid, erect, 50-110 cm long. Fruit globose, brown in colour 1-1.5 cm in diameter; fruit scales flattened not distinctly channeled at middle, seed globose.
Flowering  : July-August
Fruiting  : January-February.
Distribution: West Bengal, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Meghalaya, Nagaland. up to an elevation of 1000 metres above sea-level.
Utilisation: This moderately thick cane is similar to the preferred Raidang cane for furniture. This is also used for making baskets, walking sticks, wearing chair bottoms etc.

C. leptospadix Griff.

Vern. Name : Lejai (Assamese), Jeyying(Adi).
Slender cluster forming, stem thickened at joints. Thickness with leaf sheath 1.2 –2 cm and without 1-1.2 cm. Leaf sheath flagellate, armed with long, spines, intermingled with small spines, thickly scurfy outside, pale yellowish in colour; knee armed. Leaves ecirrate 70-110 cm long; leaflets regular, alternate, range 25-40 cm x 1.5-2 cm in size, linear enciform, 3-nerved, spiny, rachis and petiole armed with long spines intermingled with small spines, rachis, angular, covered with indumentum. Male inflorescence flagelliform, decompound. Fruit globose 1.5 – 2 cm x 1 cm in diameter, mamillate, yellow, channeled at middle, seed globose.
Flowering  : March – April
Fruiting  : August-October

Distribution: West Bengal, Sikkim, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Manipur, Nagaland: - Up to and altitude of 1700 metres above sea-level.
Utilisation: This is a thin and durable cane much in demand for furniture industry. It is a raw material for making rough baskets. It makes excellent binding material (Cordage). The fruits of this species are edible.

C. nambariensis Becc.

Vern. Name : Hooka (Assamese)
Large climbers, clump forming, stem 50-60 m in length, thickness (diameter) with leaf sheath 2-4 cm, Cane 1-1.5 cm ; leaf sheath brownish grey with distinct knee and large flattened subulate, horizontal or deflexed spines which are 2-5 cm long with broad base (1-1.8 cm) arranged in circles on the stem. Leaves cirrate, length with cirrus 3-3.5 m, cirrus 1.5-2 m; petiole 10-20 cm long, large clawed spines on the lower side of the rachis. Leaflets many (50-70) lanceolate, regular alternate, 3-5 nerved, 4-5cm broad at middle. Male inflorescence simply decompound; Fruits ovoid, 2.5 cm in diameter.
Flowering  : July-August
Fruiting  : January-February
Distribution: Endemic to North east India; Assam, Arunachal Pradesh: up to an altitude of 700 metres above sea-level.
Utilization: Very strong cane. It is considered to be the best-preferred cane for furniture. Treated as No 1 Raidang. It has attractive reddish brown colour. Takes good polish.

C. tenuis Roxb.

Vern. Name : Jati (Assamese)
Slender climber, cluster forming. Thickness with leaf sheath 1-2cm and without .8-1cm in diameter. Leaf sheath covered with large, black, scattered spines. Leaves 50cm-1m long, ecirrate, flagellate; knee prominent, armed; leaflets regular, alternate, linear, 20-40cm x 1-2cm in size, equidistant ; petiole 10-15 cm long, with long broad based spines ; rachis armed with long needle like spines. Male inflorescence flagelliform, ultra decompound. Fruit globose, 1-2cm x 8mm in size, pale yellow in colour, scales in 15 longitudinal series, narrowly channeled at middle, seed globose, rough and pitted on outer surface.
Flowering  : June-July
Fruiting  : March-April
Distribution: Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Manipur, Tripura, Nagaland, upto an elevation of 500 metres above sea-level.
Utilization: This cane is mostly used for weaving and basket making. It is employed in special works in furniture making. Used as cordage for tying. Split canes are used for weaving chair bottoms. The fruits are edible. The seedlings make good ornamental indoor pot plants.

Daemonorops jenkinsianus Griff.

Vern. Name : Raidang. (Assamese)
Stem cluster forming, high climbing. Thickness with leaf sheath 2-4cm without 1.5-2cm in diameter. Knee prominent and armed. The thorns on the leaf sheath are thin, flattened and horizontal needle like, scattered. Leaf cirrate, 3-3.5m long. Leaflets regular, alternate, 3-veined, range in size from 40-60cm X 1.5-2.5 cm in size, petiole 15-20cm long , scurfy outside, flat to slightly convex above, armed with strong digitate claws and straight spines. Inflorescence inserted above the mouth of the sheaths. Fruit globose, 1.5-2cm in size, fruit scales in 18 longitudinal series, yellowish brown in colour. Seed globose, minutely pitted.
Flowering  : October-November
Fruiting : May-June
Distribution: Bangladesh, Bhutan and India:West Bengal, Sikkim, Assam, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh. It is found between an altitude of 200-700 metres above sea-level.
Utilization: Very strong cane, used in furniture industry, for making rough baskets, chair frames etc.