Canes of Western Ghats

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Calamus gamblei Becc.ex Becc & Hk.f.

Local name:Hasirubetha

Moderate to big sized climbing cane upto 30 m long. Stem with sheath 7.5 cm and without sheath 4.5 cm; sheaths densely spiny knee present; leaves 1-1.5 m long spiny Leaflets 30-50cm long, veins ciliate on both surface; inflorescence flagellate long; Fruits upto 2cm across globose or obpyriform Scales in 23 rows deeply channeled, shiny yellow.
Flowering: December – January
Fruiting: may June.
Distribution: Karnatak, Kerala and Tamilnadu above 700m altitude in evergreen forests.
Utilization: Good quality cane for furniture, also in basket making.

Calamus brandisii Becc ex Becc. & Hk.f.

Cluster forming small diameter canes 10m tall. Girth 1.5cm with sheath and 0.8cm without sheath, in diameter. Leaves 1m long, ecirrate, leaflets grouped 25cm long. mid vein prominent . Inflorescence long slender. Fruit 1.8- 0.8cm ovoid. Scales in 17 rows brown with dark brown border.
Flowering: October – December
Fruiting: March May.
Distribution: in evergreen forests of Kerala around Agastyamala.
Utilization: Excellent cane used for furniture.

Calamus gamblei Becc. Ex Becc & Hk.f.

Vern. Name : Pachchural, ottamoodan, hasiru betha, othaiyadi perambu.
Moderate sized long canes. Girth 2.5cm with sheath and 1.5m without sheath armed with spines. Leaves 1.2m long, spiny ecirrate, leaflets regular, 40cm long with bristly tips. Inflorescence branched . fruits 2 cm spherical tapering at base.
Flowering: December – January
Fruiting: may – June
Distribution: Evergreen forests above 700m kerala, Tamilnadu, Karnataka.
Utilization: Good quality canes used in furniture and in basketry.

Calamus hookerianus Becc.

Vern. Name : Velichural, kakkachural, vanthal, Kallan.
Moderate sized canes. Girth in diameter with sheaths 4cm and 2.5cm. densely armed with triangular spines and abundant brown tomentum, knee sometimes present not conspicuous. Flagellum long 5m. leaves 2m long ecirrate, petiole long upto 75cm. armed with spines. leaflets regular55cm, mid veins ciliate. Inflorescnce 5m long. Fruits 1x 0.8cm sub-globose scales in 18rows yellowish brown with dark brown border.
Flowering: January – July
Fruiting: July – December.
Distribution: In evergreen forests upto 1000m in Kerala and Tamilnadu.
Utilization: Good medium sized cane extensively used for furniture and basket making.

Calamus rotang Linn.

Vern name: sothu perambu.
Climbing slender canes upto 10m long, girth in diameter with sheaths 1.3cm and without 1cm sheaths green flagellum 2.5m. leaf ecirrate 80cm long petiole absent. Spiny, spines yellow with black tips. Leaflets 35cm regular margins spinulose. Inflorescence 3m long fruit ovoid. Scales in 21 rows straw yellow.
Flowering: October – December
Fruiting: March May
Distribtion: Seen in plains along backwater coasts.
Utilization: Good medium sized cane extensively used for furniture and basket making.

Calamus thwaitesii Becc.& Hkf.

Vern. Name. Pannichural, Vandichural, Thatiyanchural, handibetha, Thadiperambu.
Robust high climbing canes upto 20m or more in length. Girth in diameter with sheath 6cm without sheaths 3.5cm sheath yellow densely armed with spines. Knee absent flagellum upto 9m long leaf upto 3m ecirrate petiole 35cm yellowish. Spines arranged in oblique whorls black. Leaflets variable in arrangement longest 80cm. Inflorescence about 70cm fruit ovoid 2x 1.3cm scales in vertical rows yellow with deep brown margins
Flowering: November – January
Fruiting: February – May
Distribution: Evergreen, semievergreen and moist deciduous forests below 900m throughout western ghats.
Utilization: Good cane extensively used for furniture.

Calamus vattayila Renuka

Vern. Name: Vattayilayan, ottaman, Devarubetha, Maniperambu.
Solitary high climbing canes. Thickness with sheath 2.5cm and without sheath 1.8cm sparingly spiny, spines often pointing upwards, knee conspicuous, flagellum 4m long, leaf ecirrate upto 1m long. Petiole long 25cm leaflets alternate ca 40cm, 6 veined, female inflorescens in long bunches up to 1m long. Fruit 2.5 x 0.8cm oblong scales in 27 rowslonger than broad not channeled, brown.
Flowering: September – October
Fruiting: April – May.
Distribution: distributed in Kerala Karnataka and Tamilnadu in 200 to 750m altitude.
Utilization: Good quality cane used in furniture industry, however not abundant.