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Asian region

The Asian region is an immense area containing the greatest palm species diversity in the world along with the oldest and most assorted types of palm utilization. For the purpose of this chapter, Asia is defined geographically as stretching from Pakistan on the west to Indonesia on the east and north to include China.

Across the region, the level of knowledge about palm systematics and documented examples of particular palm products ranges from excellent to fragmentary. Malaysia represents a country in the former category, Vietnam one of the latter. A World Wide Fund for Nature Asian palm project which focused on India, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines summarized old and generated much new information on conservation and utilization (Johnson, 1991b).

Chapter 4 has been broken down into three separate but interrelated parts to simplify dealing with such a large number of palms. The first part is concerned with the palms of South Asia, i.e. India, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka; and to a minor degree with Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan and Sikkim. Part two covers Southeast Asian palms and includes the countries from Myanmar eastward to Indonesia and the Philippines, and southern China. These two regional treatments exclude rattans which are dealt with as a group in a separate third section of this chapter.

The approach in this and the following regional chapters links together utilization and conservation because without such a linkage sustainable resource use can never be achieved. The conservation status of a utilized wild palm is a vital piece of information in any consideration of continued or expanded exploitation. For convenience, palm species are considered to be in one of three categories: threatened, non-threatened or unknown. Except for rattans in this chapter, utilized palms with an unknown conservation status are not discussed.

South Asia

The utilized native palms of this region, excluding rattans, were divided into two groups based on their conservation status.

Threatened South Asian Palms

Thirteen species of native South Asian palms were found to be both under threat in the wild and utilized by local people. Information on these palms is presented in Table 4-1. The strong relationship between sensitive island habitats and threatened palms is in evidence in Table 4-1 where half the species included occur on islands. One island endemic is also monotypic (i.e. a genus with a single species): Loxococcus rupicola in Sri Lanka.

Discussion

Perusal of the palm products in Table 4-1 shows that leaves, petioles and stems are exploited for a variety of end-uses; and fruits, sap and starch provide edible products. All these existing patterns of utilization are for subsistence purposes alone. Were the rattans included, that would not be the case.

Table 4-1: Threatened South Asian Palms with Reported uses (excluding rattans)
 


Scientific Names 

Selected Local Names (1)

Distribution (2)

Products/Uses

Areca concinna 

len-teri 

Sri Lanka (endemic) 

nuts as betel substitute

Arenga wightii

dhiudasal. alam panel 

India: Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu(endetnic to India)

peduncle tapped for sap

Bentinckia nicobarica

Nicobar bentinekia palm?

India: Great Nicobar Island (endemic) 

leaves for thatching and steins as hut pillars

Corypha umbraculifera

condapana; tala 

India: Kerala: Sri Lanka 

leaves used as umbrellas: edible starch from stem; seeds to make beads; formerly, leaf blades as writing material

Hyphaene dichotoma
(syn. H. indica) 

oka mundel (Indian doum palm) 

India: Gujarat. Maharashtra (endemic to India)

fibrous fruit mesocarp (see Table 9-20 for composition) & unripe kernel eaten; leaves for thatching: stem wood for posts, roof beams & fuel

Licuala peltata

selai pathi, mota pathi 

India: Northeast & Andaman Islands;Bangaldesh; Sikkim

leaves for thatching & as rain hats. spl i t leaf blades woven into baskets, mats, etc.; stems as pillars

Livistona jenkinsiana

toko pat, takau-araung 

India: Northeast: Sikkim 

fresh nuts used as masticatory; leaves for thatching & rain hats, stems for hut construction

Loxococcus rupicola(monotypic)

dotalu 

Sri Lanka (endemic) 

edible palm heart

Oncosperma afasciculatton

katu-kitul 

Sri Lanka (endemic) 

stem wood for construction ?

Phoenix rupicola 

cliff date palm ? 

India: Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya;Sikkim

starch extracted from stem as famine food

  1. Pinanga dicksonii; 
  2. P. inanii 

 

1) India: Kerala, Tamil Nadu (endemic to India); 2) India: Andaman & Nicobar Islands (endemic) 

1 & 2) stems used for fencing & posts; leaves for thatching; nuts used as betel substitute

Wallichia disticha

tashe 

India: Arunachal Pradesh, West Bengal; Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sikkim 

edible stem starch

Notes:

1. Other local names are gi ' ven in some of the sources cited.
2. Distribution is within the South Asian region as defined; some species also occur elsewhere.

Sources: Basu. 1991; Basu and Chakraverty, 1994; Blatter, 1926; De Zoysa, 1996; Mahabale, 1982; Malik. 1984; Mathew and Abraharn, 1994; Rolla and Joseph, 1962.
 

From a utilization standpoint, it should be possible to reduce the exploitation of these threatened palms inasmuch as there exist inexpensive alternative sources of the palm products.

A combination of utilization and habitat destruction appears to have led to the extinction in the wild of the tara palm (Corypha taliera) endemic to West Bengal, India. Leaves were formerly used for tying rafters of houses and leaf blades employed as writing material. Although no longer found in its natural habitat, the tara palm is under cultivation in botanic gardens, affording an opportunity for a reintroduction effort.

On a more positive note, recognition in Thailand of the overexploitation of the naturalized talipot palm (Corphya umbraculifera) has led to its inclusion in a list of the protected non-wood forest products. Under forest regulations, small amounts of protected NWFPs can be harvested for subsistence needs, but any commercial exploitation requires a permit (Subansenee, 1995).

Non-threatened South Asian Palms

About the same number of economic palms are not under threat in South Asia. Nypa fruticans is included as one of the dozen species in Table 4-2 despite the fact that it is threatened in Sri Lanka and should be protected there. Sri Lanka represents the western limit of the palm’s natural range, where it occurs only in a small estuarine area of the island.

Discussion

The small number of species in Table 4-2 should not be construed as an indication that palms are of minor significance in the region. To the contrary, palms are quite important and provide a great range of different products for subsistence and commercial purposes.

Arenga pinnata, Borassus flabellifer and Phoenix sylvestris are all multipurpose species that individually approach the coconut palm in terms of overall utility. One product common to the three palms is sap which is consumed in the form of soft or hard beverages, fermented into vinegar or boiled down to yield palm sugar which is comparable to cane or beet sugar. Over many centuries, tapping techniques have been developed which enhance sap flow while minimizing the negative impact on the individual tree. The monotypic Nypa fruticans is also a source of sweet sap but it is not as important in South Asia as it is Southeast Asia.

With the exception of Areca triandra, all the palms in Table 4-2 are exploited for leaf products of one kind or another. Cottage industries producing hats, bags, mats and other products woven from young palm leaves are common in South Asia and the products are of the highest quality.

The importance of non-wood forest products is officially recognized in Bangladesh where Nypa fruticans and Phoenix paludosa harvest requires permits from the Forest Department (Basit, 1995).

It is obvious that many if not most of these non-threatened palms could be brought under better management and the production of palm products increased on a sustainable basis. Research along these lines is being carried out in South India at the Kerala Forest Research Institute where a project entitled "Palm resources of Kerala, their conservation and utilization," is in progress under the direction of C. Renuka.

Table 4-2: Non-threatened South Asian Palms with Reported Uses (excluding rattans)
 


Scientific Names 

Selected Local Names (1) 

Distribution 

Products/Uses

Areca triandra var. triandra

bon gua 

India: Northeast, Andaman Islands 

nuts used as betel substitute

Arenga pinnata

gomuti (sugar palm) 

India: Eastern, Andaman Islands; Bangladesh; Sri Lanka

multipurpose palmi sap for sugar & other products; edible immature seed(fresh mesocarp of ripe fruit is filled with irritant needle crystals); edible starch from stem; edible palm heart; leaf base fiber for fish nets, etc., leaflets for weaving baskets, etc., stem wood for various uses

Borassus flabellifer

fall Palmyra 

India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka 

multipurpose palm: sap for toddy & sugar; edible mesocarp pulp; edible unripe endosperm, edible palm heart; leaves for thatching; leaflets for weaving, stem wood for construction & fuel, see Tables 9-4 and 9-5 for composition of sap & sugar

  1. Caryota mitis;
  2. C. urens 

2) bherli mad, kittul 

  1. India: Andaman Islands:
  2. India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka 

1) edible starch from stem; leaves for thatching, weaving & decoration, ripe fruits contain irritant poison,
2) leaf-sheath fiber to make rope, etc.; edible starch from stem; sap for toddy & sugar. edible palm heart; seeds as masticatory & to make beads

Licuala spinosa

jungli selai 

India: Andaman Islands 

leaves for thatching & Clothing

Nypa fruticans(monotypic)

golpata 

India: Orissa, West Bengal. Andaman islands; Bangladesh; Sri Lanka 

leaves for thatching, sap from inflorescence for beverage or sugar; mature seeds suitable for vegetable ivory

  1. Phoenix acaulis;
  2. P. jorin ife. ra;
  3. P. loureirii
  4. P. paludosa
  5. P. sylvestris;
  6. P. zeylanica

1)khajur; 3)khajoor;
4) hantal;
5) thakil (sugar date palm);
6) indi 

1) India: Meghalaya, Uttar Pradesh, Nepal; Sikkim;
2) India: Tamil Nadu; Sri Lanka;
3) India! Uttar Pradesh, Kerala Nepal; Pakistan;
4) India: Bengal, Orissa, Andaman Islands; Bangladesh;
5) Ind ia(common); Nepal,
6) Sri Lanka 

1) edible fruit, heart & stern starch; leaf fiber for ropes, leaves for thatching;
2) edible fruit; leaflets woven into sleeping mats; split petiole to make baskets; edible starch from stem
3) leaves woven into mats & to make brooms; edible fruit; starch from stem-, medicinal use of palm ficait;
4) stem wood for construction; leaves for thatching & to make brooms, leaf fiber to make rope, edible fruit?;
5) multipurpose palm: sap from stem as beverage & to make sugar, edible fruit: leaves made into brooms or woven into baskets & mats; stem wood for fuel:
6) edible fruit, leaves woven into mats and baskets

Notes:

1. Other local names are given in some of the sources cited.
2. Distribution is within the South Asian region as defined; some species also Occur elsewhere.

Sources: References for Table 4-1 and in addition: Basit, 1995; Davis, 1972, 1988; Davis and Joel. 1989; Davis and Johnson, 1987; De Zoysa, 1992: Dissanayake, 1986,Francis, 1984; Ghosh and Ghose, 1995; Kovooi, 1983: Miller, 1964; Padmanablian and Sudhersan, 1988

If information were available on its conservation status, the useful mazari palm (Nannorrhops ritchiana) would probably be included in Table 4-2. This monotypic palm is native to arid portions of northwestern India, Pakistan and westward to the Arabian Peninsula, and has a variety of uses. For example: leaves are woven into mats and baskets, made into fans and brushes, and have medicinal use; stems, leaves and petioles serve as fuel; young leaves and inflorescences, as well as the heart and fruit are eaten; and seeds are made into beads.

Southeast Asia

Native palms currently reported to be exploited in Southeast Asia also have been broken down into threatened and non-threatened species lists. Considerable knowledge gaps exist about palms in this very diverse area, especially in Myanmar, Thailand, the countries of former Indochina and the Indonesian province of Irian Jaya on the island of New Guinea.

Threatened Southeast Asian Palms

A total of 24 palm species, belonging to 13 genera, are listed in Table 4-3. More than one-half of these species are endemic palms and most countries in the region are represented. They are, therefore, fairly representative of the situation.

Three genera are among the largest non-rattan palm genera in Asia: Pinanga has around 120; Licuala about 105 and Areca approximately 55 species. Each genus has numerous species for which conservation data are lacking and there is justifiable concern that when data are available the results will be alarming and show that most are also threatened. The reason for this concern is that the habitat of all three genera is the undergrowth of tropical forests, and Southeast Asian forests are under intense pressure from logging and shifting cultivation, resulting in deforestation and degradation on a massive scale.

Another aspect of the genera in Table 4-3 is that several (e.g. Areca, Arenga, Caryota, Eugeissona, Licuala, Livistona, Phoenix and Pinanga) also appear in Table 4-4 among the listing of non-threatened palms. Inasmuch as palm genera have distinctive individual habitat requirements, the linkage between threatened and non-threatened congeneric species needs to be kept in mind in promoting palm products. In other words, it is not sufficient to know that an individual species is not threatened; taking into account other species (which often yield similar products) is the safest approach to take.

Discussion

Food and non-food products are about equally represented in Table 4-3 and appear to be solely for subsistence purposes. Some palm utilizations are relatively benign, such as collecting the fruits of Pinanga spp. and other Areca spp. as a substitute for the cultivated betel nut (Areca catechu). Leaf harvest for thatching and other end uses may or may not be of concern, depending upon the intensity of the practices.

Table 4-3: Threatened Southeast Asian Palms with Reported Uses (excluding rattans)
 


Scientific Names

Selected Local Names (1)

Distribution (2)

Product/Uses

1)Areca hutchinsoniana;
2) A, ipot,- 
3) A. macrocarpa;
4) A. parens

1)bunga;
2) bungang-ipot;
3)bungang-lakihan; 4) takobtob 

1) Philippines: Mindanao;
2) Luzon;
3) Zamboanga;
4) Luzon (each species is endemic)

nuts as occasional betel Substitute, edible palm heart

Arenga hastata

mudor 

Borneo, Peninsular Malaysia 

leaf sheath as knife sheath

Borassodendron borneense

bidang 

Borneo (endemic) 

edible palm heart & immature fuit endospcrm; stem sawn into boards for house construction

1) Carvota no;
2) C rumphiana 

1) entibap mudol; 2) takipan 

1) Borneo (endemic);
2) Philippines: Luzon; Indonesia: Moluccas, Irian Jaya 

1) edible stem starch & pal m heart leaf-sheath fiber for tinder & to make fishing line, etc.
2) edible palm heart

Eugeissona brachystachys

tahan bertam 

Peninsular Malaysia (endemic) 

edible stem starch; leaves for thatching; edible immature endosperm; petioles to make darts etc.

Heterospathe elmeri

 

Philippines: Camiguin (endemic) 

nuts as betel substitute; edible palm heart

  1. Johannesteijsmannia altifrons;
  2. J. lanceolata J. magnifica, J. perakensis 

1) sal 

1) Sarawak, Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra. Thailand; 2) Peninsular Malaysia (all endemic) 

1) leaves for thatching roots & walls: fruits in medicine,
2) seed collected for ornamental planting

  1. Licuala fatua; 
  2. L. orbicularis

1) cay trui;
2) biru balat 

1) Vietnam: Ila Nam Ninh, Tua Thien (endemic);
2) Sarawak (endemic ?) 

1) stems to make tool handles,
2) leaves for wrapping, maki rig hats, umbrellas & thatching

Livistona robinsoniana

 

Philippines: Polillo (endemic) 

leaves for thatching, stems as posts

Orania sylvicola 

iwul

Indonesia: Java, Sumatra; Malaysia: Peninsular, sarawak; Thailand 

stem wood for construction poisonous heart & fruit(said to apply to all Orania species)

Phoenix hanceana var philippinensis

voyavoy 

Philippines: Batanes Islands (endemic) 

leaves to make thatched raincoat: leaflets woven into mats

  1. Pholidocarpus kingi
  2. P. monocrocarpus anus; 

2) serdang 

  1. Peninsular Malaysia (endemic);
  2. Peninsular Malaysia, Thailand 

1 & 2) stems for pilings & limbers; leaves for thatching

  1. Pinanga cochinchinensis; 
  2. P. duperreana;
  3. P. punicea var. punicea
  1. cao cuóc cluóc; 
  2. sla condor 

1) Vietnam (endemic);
2) Kampuchea, Laos. Vietnam;
3) Indonesia: Moluccas, Irian Jaya 

1) fruit used as fish bait leaves to make mats & sails;
2) edible palm heart; nuts as betel substitute,
3) leaves to make mats & sails

Notes:

1. Other local names are given in sonic of the sources cited.
2. Distribution is within the southeast Asian region as defined; some species also occur elsewhere.

Sources: Brown and Merrill. 1919: Burkill, 1966; Davis, 1988; Fernando, 1990; Gagnepain, 1937; Guzman and Fernando,1996; Kiew 1991; Madulid, 1991a.b, Mogea, 1991,Pearce, 1991. 1994; Uhl and Dransfield. 1987; Whitmore, 1973.

The spectacular umbrella leaf palm (Johannesteijsmannia altifrons) is a case in point. Referred to as nature’s answer to corrugated iron, the enormous undivided leaves are up to 3 m long and 1 m wide. Highly prized for thatching roofs and walls (which last 3-4 years) the leaves are cut and sold for this purpose in Peninsular Malaysia. Providing 2-3 leaves are left on each plant, the practice may be sustainable (Kiew, 1991). However, almost nothing is known about the flowering and fruiting characteristics of palms in this genus; periodic leaf harvest could, over time, adversely affect fruit production and lead to a decline in natural regeneration. This biological factor is apart from habitat destruction; these palms require an understory forest habitat. In addition, illegal seed collection and export of these highly-desirable ornamental palms is having detrimental effects on the wild populations in Peninsular Malaysia.

The most destructive exploitation occurs in extracting edible palm hearts and edible stem starch for the trees are killed in the process. In some instances it appears that palm heart extraction is associated with felling a tree for some other purposes such as to obtain stem wood or starch; it is therefore sometimes a "salvage" product, to use the term introduced in Chapter 3.

By and large, the products derived from palms in Table 4-3 are for subsistence needs and alternative sources should be suggested where the current exploitation is having a serious negative impact on wild palm populations.

Non-threatened Southeast Asian Palms

The full range of palm utilization in Southeast Asia is represented in Table 4-4 which lists 41 species in 18 genera. Geographic coverage is complete as every country in the region is included, although with varying completeness. The table is a clear indication of the fact that Southeast Asia has both the highest palm species diversity and the greatest variety of palm utilization of anywhere in the world.

Arenga, Phoenix, Pinanga and Salacca species account for around one-half of the entries in the table. The genera Eleiodoxa and Eugeissona occur only in Southeast Asia.

Discussion

Table 4-4 includes six major economic palm species each worthy of individual attention. They are: Arenga pinnata, Borassus flabellifer, Corypha utan, Metroxylon sagu, Nypa fruticans and Salacca zalacca.

Arenga pinnata. The aren or sugar palm is a multipurpose species which finds its greatest utility in Southeast Asia. Miller (1964) provides an excellent summary of the economic uses of the palm. Known chiefly as a source of sap derived from tapping the inflorescence to make sugar and a provider of edible starch from the trunk, the sugar palm grows in humid forest areas and under drier conditions. The fruit of the sugar palm fruit merits special attention because although the immature endosperm is edible, the mesocarp pulp of ripe fruits contains irritating needle crystals which make them inedible.

The growth habit of the sugar palm is notable with respect to its products. The palm is hapazanthic, i.e. it flowers at about 10 years of age and dies. The harvestable quantities of sap and starch represent the tree’s stored nutrients for the protracted flowering and fruiting which extends over a period of around two years.

Table 4-4: Non-threatened Southeast Asian Palms with Reported Uses (excluding rattans)
 


Scientific Names

Selected Local Names 

Distribution' 

Products/Uses,

  1. Areca macrocalyx;
  2. Areca triandra var. triandra 

2) cau rung (Viet) 

1) Indonesia: Irian Jaya;
2) Indonesia, Peninsular Malaysia, Vietnam, Laos, Kampuchea, Thailand, Myanmar, Philippines 

1) (inferred) nut as betel substitute; edible heart, leaves for thatch: 2) nut as abatel substitute

  1. Arenga microcarpa;
  2. A. obtusifolia
  3. A. pinnata;
  4. A. tremula var tremula
  5. A. undulatifolia

2)langkap (Pen M all;
3) aren;
4) dumayaka (Phil);
5) aping

1) Irian Jaya;
2) Peninsular Malaysia; Indonesia: Sumatra, Java;
3) widespread;
4) Philippines: Luzon;
5) Borneo; Philippines: Sulu; Indonesia: Sulawesi

1) edible palm heart;
2) edible palm heart & endosperm;
3) multipurpose palm: sap for sugar & other products; edible immature seed (fresh mesocarp of ripe fruit is filled with irritant needle crystals) edible stem starch, palm heart leaf-base fiber for fish nets. etc.; leaflets for weaving baskets, etc.; stem wood for various uses
4) petiole split to make baskets;
5) edible stem starch (Sarawak) & other products

Borassus flabellifer
(syn. B. sundaicus)

lontar 

widespread as native & cultivated species 

multipurpose palm: sap for toddy & sugar. edible mesocarp pulp; edible unripe endosperm; edible palm heart; leaves for thatching; leaflets for weaving, stem wood for construction & fuel

  1. Caryota mitis;
  2. C rumphiana var.rumphiana

1) mudor (Sar); 2)sagu moro(Irian) 

1) Brunei; Malaysia: Peninsular, Sarawak; Myanmar; Indonesia: Java, Sulawesi; Thailand; Vietnam., China: Hainan Island (where it is threatened);
2) Indonesia: Irian Jaya, Moluccas 

1 & 2) edible palm heart & stem starch

  1. Corypho lecomtei;
  2. C utan (syn. C elata) 

1) la buong (Viet);
2) gebang, hurt 

1) Vietnam; Thailand; 2) Indonesia: Java, Kalimantan, Sulawesi, Sumatra; Malaysia: Peninsular, Sabah; Philippines

1) leaves for thatching & weaving mats, sails and bags; petiole to make arrows & walking sticks; edible stem starch: fruits as fish poison,
2) stem starch as food & medicine; sap from inflorescence for wine & sugar; edible palm heart; edible fruit(see Table 9-14for nutritional composition); leaves for thatching& weaving mats, baskets & fans

Eleiodoxa conferta

kelubi 

Malaysia: Peninsular, Sarawak, Sabah-, Brunei; Singapore-, Indonesia: Kalimantan, Sumatra; Thailand 

fruit used to make pickles & relishes; edible palm heart; leaves for thatching & to make mats


 


Scientific Names

Selected Local
Names

Distribution

Product/Uses

  1. Eugeissona tristis; 
  2. E. utilis 

1) bertam;
2) nanga 

  1. Peninsular Malaysia: Thailand; 
  2. Borneo

1) leaves for thatching & to make fish traps; edible immature fruit;
2) stem starch; edible palm heart. purple flower pollen used as condiment; leaves for thatching, split petiole to make darts

Gulubia costata

limbun 

Indonesia: Irian Jaya, Moluccas

stems for floor and wall boards; inflorescence used as brush - leaf sheath of cr own shaft folded to make buckets & baskets and to wrap food

  1. Licuala peltata; 
  2. L. spinosa 

1 & 2) palas (Indon) 

1)Thailand; Myanmar,
2) Malaysia: Peninsular, Sarawak, Sabah; Brunei, Indonesia: lava, Sumatra; Philippines;
China, Thailand

1 & 2) leaves for thatching & to wrap food

Livistona rotundifolia
Var. rotundifolia

serdang 

Indonesia: Moluccas, Sulawesi;Borneo; Philippines

leaves for thatching and to wrap food

Metroxylon sagu f
longispinum.

sagu 

Indonesia: Irian Jaya, Moluccas;Philippines: Mindanao

stem starch; leaves for thatching, petioles & stem wood for construction, etc.

Nypa fruticans
(monotypic)

nipah, atap 

widespread in coastal areas

leaves for thatching & weaving; sap from inflorescence for beverage, sugar or alcohol; immature seeds edible, mature seeds suitable for vegetable ivory; leaflet epidermis to make cigarette wrapper

  1. Oncosperma horridum; 
  2. 0. tigillarium 

1) bayas (Malay), bayeh(Indon),
2) nibong (Malay) 

1) Malaysia: Peninsular. Sarawak, Sabah; Brunei; Indonesia: Kalimantan, Sumatra; Philippines, Thailand;
2) Malaysia: Peninsular, Sarawak, Sabah; Brunei; Indonesia Java, Kalimantan. Sumatra; Philippines; Indochina?

1 & 2) whole stems resistant to sea water used in construction; stems split into strips to make fish traps, floor & wall coverings, etc.; leaves to weave baskets; nuts as betel substitute; edible etc.; leaves to weave baskets; nuts as betel substitute; edible palm heart


 


Scientific Names

Selected Local
Names'

Distribution

Products/Uses

  1. Phoenix acaulis;
  2. P. loureirii;
  3. P. paludosa;
  4. P. sylvestris

2) bua cha la (Viet);
3) cay cut chut (Viet) 

1) Myanmar ' Thailand; Vietnam;
2) China-Thailand;
3) Peninsular Malaysia- Indonesia: Sumatra Thailand: Vietnam;
4) Myanmar

1) edible Fruit leaf fiber for ropes leaves for thatching;
2) edible fruit; other uses likely;
3) edible fruit and palm heart; leaves for temporary fencing;
4) (inferred) multipurpose palm sap from stein as beverage & to make sugar: edible Fruit; leaves made into brooms or woven into baskets & mats; stem wood for fuel

Pigafetta filaris

wanga 

Indonesia: Irian Jaya, Moluccas, Sulawesi

whole stems used in construction, split or sawn into flooring & hollowed lot water pipe

  1. Pinanga, caesia;
  2. P. Coronata;
  3. P. crassipes;
  4. P. mooreana;
  5. P. schortechinii;
  6. P. simplicifrons 

pinarig in general

1) Indonesia: Sulawesi (endemic); 
2) Indonesia: Java, Sumatra;
3) Malaysia: Sarawak, Sabah
4) Malaysia: Sarawak; Brunei
5) Malaysia: Peninsular; Thailand;
6) Malaysia: Peninsular, Sarawak; Brunei; Indonesia: Sumatra

(in general) leaves for thatching; stems as laths, nuts sometimes chewed as betel substitut

  1. Salacca affinis;
  2. S. glabrescens;
  3. S. vermicularis;
  4. S. wallichiuna;
  5. S. zalacca 

1) salak, ridan (Sar);
2) salak;
3) kepla; 5) salak 

1) Malaysia: Peninsular. Sarawak, Sabah; Brunei; Indonesia: Kalimantan, Sumatra;
2)Peninsular Malaysia; Thailand;)
3)Borneo;
4) Peninsular Malaysia; Thailand; Vietnam ; Laos; Kampuchea,ChinaMyanmar; 5)Indonesia:Java, Sumatra 

1) edible fruit & palm heart flexible end of rachis as fishing rod;
2) edible fruit;
3) edible fruit and palm heart
4)fruit used in curry; petioles for fishing rods;
5) edible fruit (see Table 9-25 for nutritional composition).leaves for fencing & ldecoration

Trachycarpus fortunei 

chusan

China (endemic) 

leaf-base fiber to make rope, mats, brushes; leaves for thatching& to weave fans, hats, chairs; fruit wax to make polishes, etc., seed source of hemostatic drug; roots, leaves & flowers contain medicinal compounds; stems as house pillars, edible flowers; seeds as animal fodder

Notes:

1. Other local names are given in some of the sources cited.
2. Distribution is within the Southeast Asian region as defined; some species also occur elsewhere.

Sources: References for Table 4.3 and in addition: Davis, 1988; Davis and Kuswara, 1987; Davis et al., 1990,Dransfield, 1977; Dransfield and Johnson, 1991; Essig, 1982; Essig and Dong, 1987; Fong, 1989,1991: Fox, 1977; Hay, 1984; House, 1983; Kovoor, 1983; Lubeigt, 1977; Miller, 1964; Mogea et al., 199 1,O'Brien and Kinnaird, 1996, Ruddle el al., 1978; Sastrapradja et al., 1978; Yaacob and Subhadr abandhu, 1995.
 
 

Borassus flabellifer. The lontar palm is a multipurpose species in Southeast Asia just as it is in South Asia. However, its uses do not quite reach the diversity found in South Asia. This is documented by Fox (1977) who studied two different culture groups which make considerable use of the palm on the Indonesian islands of Roti and Madura. As a sugar source, lontar has been studied in great detail by Lubeigt (1979) in central Myanmar. The lontar is a palm of dry environments and is tolerant of poor soils. Its major drawback as an economic palm is that it is a single-stemmed species.

Corypha utan. This palm has a very wide distribution in Asia, most often in drier more open areas. It typically is found in association with settlements, suggesting that humans may have contributed to its current geographic range. A large single-stemmed tree, the gebang palm shares with the sugar palm a terminal-flowering habit and also its main economic products of sweet sap and stem starch. The gebang has very large fan-shaped leaves with numerous uses.

Metroxylon sagu. The sago palm is most notable in the region as a subsistence source of stem starch in areas of its occurrence in Indonesia and the Philippines. A tropical peat swamp palm, sago occupies a largely undesirable habitat as far as competing land uses are concerned. Centuries ago, sago was introduced from farther east to Borneo and Malaya, apparently by migrating peoples. Today it can be found in a semi-wild or cultivated state where suitable habitat exists. Anyone seeing the extensive sago areas in Sarawak, and the dependence of local people on it for starch and various other projects, would find it difficult to believe that the palm is not native. This hapazanthic suckering palm is discussed in more detail in Chapter 5.

Nypa fruticans. Nipa is solely a mangrove palm and its distribution is centered in Southeast Asia. Although sago and nipa occupy somewhat similar habitats, the former grows in fresh water swamps, the latter brackish water environments along the coast. Major economic products are sap for sugar or alcohol and leaves for thatching. Panels of nipa thatch are in common use wherever the palm occurs. Hamilton and Murphy (1988) studied the general use and management of nipa over its broad range and Fong (1992) has done field studies on nipa management in Peninsular Malaysia and tapping in Sarawak (Fong, 1989).

Salacca zalacca. The salak palm is a forest undergrowth species primarily important for its edible fruit, which is obtained from wild and cultivated plants. As indicated in Table 4-4, several other species also have edible fruits, but fruit from S. zalacca is the largest and sweetest. Salak fruit is very popular in Indonesia where it is consumed fresh and is canned for domestic and export markets. According to Mogea (1991) 15 local trade names exist for salak fruits based on quality and fruit characteristics. In Thailand, clones of what is believed to be S. wallichiana are under cultivation (Yaacob and Subhadrabandu, 1995). The preceding reference provides detailed information on cultivating salak which is recommended for home gardens.

As for the remaining palms in Table 4-4 the use pattern is similar to that of Table 4-3 in that food and non-food items have about equal weight. Eugeissona utilis is what might be termed a minor multipurpose palm as indicated by the variety of uses listed in Table 4-4. However, they represent predominantly subsistence uses by indigenous peoples who sometimes (in Sarawak) plant the palm near their houses.

In addition to being used for thatching and to weave a variety of products, certain fan palm leaves provide cheap food-wrapping material. Licuala peltata, one form of which has undivided leaves, and Livistona rotundifolia, with shallowly-divided leaves, are good examples. Almost everywhere that palm leaves are cut from wild plants, for whatever end use, there is a tendency to harvest an excessive number of leaves per plant, in large part to minimize walking distances.

The effect of leaf harvest of Livistona rotundifolia was the subject of a recent study in North Sulawesi, Indonesia. The study confirms assumptions about the adverse impact of over-harvesting of leaves. Research results showed that leaves on harvested plants grew faster but reached a smaller final leaf size than on unharvested plants. A census of harvested and unharvested palm populations showed that palm density was twice as high and there were ten times as many reproductive-sized palms in unharvested areas (O’Brien and Kinnaird, 1996).

Together the four members of the genus Phoenix in Table 4-4 occur widely in Southeast Asia and are common sources of food and non-food subsistence items. These palms persist in many areas because they are adapted to disturbed habitats, can grow on drier sites with poor soils and produce basal suckers which are a major factor in their natural regeneration.

The wanga palm (Pigafetta filaris) is a somewhat unusual palm in that it is a pioneer species which colonizes disturbed habitats where it is native in Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. Although its chief economic value is a source of stem wood for construction, P. filaris is also esteemed as an elegant ornamental palm. Davis and Kuswara (1987) studied the biology of this palm in Indonesia.

Trachycarpus fortunei is well known as an ornamental palm grown in the middle latitudes because of its cold tolerance. The palm also turns out to be a drug source in China as well as the origin of several other products.

As more becomes known in general about the use of palms in China (and Indochina), other examples can be expected to be added to any future list of economic palms.

Asian Rattans

Rattans are first and foremost important as commercial and subsistence sources of cane, the rattan stem. The stem, after stripping off its leaf sheaths, provides the raw material for the cane furniture industry. Depending on the species, the diameter of canes is from about 3 mm to 60 mm or more. In the rattan industry, canes are graded on the basis of seven basic factors: diameter, length of cane, color, hardness, defects and blemishes, length of nodes and uniformity of thickness (UNIDO, 1983).

Another way to characterize rattans is based solely on their diameter: canes are referred to as "large" if they have a diameter above 18 mm; "small" canes are those below that diameter. Large canes are used whole to make the frames of cane furniture. Whole small canes are also used as struts in some furniture, but more often they are split and used to weave the chair back (Dransfield, 1988).

Three desirable properties characterize rattan canes. One, they are solid (unlike bamboo which are typically hollow) and hence very strong. Two, by the application of heat, most rattans can be bent into and will hold various shapes without deformation. Three, canes can be lacquered to preserve their natural light color or can also be painted.

In addition to its use in furniture making, split cane furnishes material for handicraft and cottage industries to make baskets, mats, bags, hats, fish traps and a host of other products. Rattans are also employed as cordage for tying and binding. The case study (Chapter 2) of the Iban in Sarawak, Malaysia demonstrates how very useful rattans are to indigenous people.

The rattans of Asia belong to the following ten genera: Calamus, Calospatha, Ceratolobus, Daemonorops, Korthalsia, Myrialepis, Plectocomia, Plectocomiopsis, Pogonotium and Retispatha. More than 500 rattan species have been described, with the two genera Calamus and Daemonorops representing the bulk of the species.

Nearly all rattan canes continue to come from wild plants. However, in the coming years rattan cultivation, along with some form of rattan management, will play an increasing role in providing sources of raw canes and in turn relieve some of the pressures on threatened wild populations.

Rattan canes represent the palm family’s most valuable non-wood forest product. At the same time rattans, as a group, are exceedingly difficult to generalize about because of incomplete data on distribution patterns and conservation status as well as the confusion which exists between local or trade names on the one hand and scientific names on the other.

Following the general approach used for South and Southeast Asia palms, rattans were divided into two groups on the basis of whether they are known to be threatened or not threatened in the wild. An attempt was made to ascertain if canes from the two groups of candidate rattans were utilized, but it was not possible to do so with an acceptable degree of reliability. The only practical solution was to include all rattans with a known conservation status and assume that, where utilization information was absent, there was at least the possibility that the individual species had some present or future utility as a cane source. This approach seemed to be a better alternative than omitting many rattan species altogether.

A rough count shows that three out of four rattans lack information about their conservation status. Dozens of these species are known to have utility as cane sources. In order to include and consider all such rattans, a third group was formed consisting of rattans known to be utilized but with an unknown conservation status.

Information on secondary uses of the rattans dealt with here was collected and is presented separately.

Threatened Asian Rattans

As climbing palms, rattans need trees for support and hence deforestation leads to their destruction. But most rattans can and do survive in areas of timber harvesting or partial land clearing where some tree cover remains. Secondary forest supports rattan growth, but the rattans do not reach their maximum length and diameter, as they do in primary forest.

Cutting wild rattans is a destructive exploitation comparable to felling palms for stem starch, construction wood or palm heart. Exploitation of rattans for commercial and subsistence purposes appears to be a major factor which has placed so many species at risk.

At least 121 rattan species are known to be threatened in the wild and these are presented in Table 4-5.
 
 

Table 4-5: Threatened Asian Rattans
 
 


Scientific Names

Selected Local Names1

Distribution2

Calamus adspersus

?

Indonesia: Java, Sumatra

Calamus andamanicus*

mofabet

India: Andaman Islands (endemic)

Calamus asperrimus

rotan leulues

Indonesia: Java

Calamus bacularis*

wi tulang

Malaysia: Sarawak (endemic)

Calamus balanseanus

than-moï

Vietnam: Ha Bac, Lang Son

Calamus bicolor

lasi, rasi

Philippines: Mindanao

Calamus brandisii

vanthai

India: Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu (endemic)

Calamus ceratophorus

ui sông

Vietnam: Phu Khanh

Calamus ciliaris*

hoe cacing

Indonesia: Java, Sumatra

Calamus cockburnii

?

Malaysia: Peninsular, Pahang (endemic)

Calamus conjugatus

wi janggut

Malaysia: Sarawak (endemic)

Calamus corneri

rotan perut ayam

Malaysia: Peninsular (endemic)

Calamus crassifolius

wi takong

Malaysia: Sarawak (endemic)

Calamus cumingianaus*

douung-douung

Philippines: Luzon

Calamus delicatulus

nara wel

Sri Lanka (endemic)

Calamus densiflorus*

rotan kerai

Peninsular Malaysia; Singapore; Thailand

Calamus digitatus

kukulu wel

Sri Lanka (endemic)

Calamus dilaceratus

?

India: Andaman Islands (endemic)

Calamus dimorphacanthus*

lambutan, tandulang-montalban

Philippines: Luzon

Calamus dioicus

rani

Vietnam

Calamus discolor*

halls, kumaboy

Philippines: Luzon

Calamus dongnaiensis

long-tchéou

Vietnam: south

Calamus endauensis

?

Malaysia: Peninsular (endemic)

Calamus filipendulus

rotan batu

Malaysia: Peninsular (endemic)

Calamus foxworthyi

?

Philippines: Palawan

Calamus godefroyi

phdau tuk

Vietnam

Calamus grandifolius*

saba-ong

Philippines: Luzon

Calamus harmandii

?

Laos

Calamus hepburnii

?

Malaysia: Sabah (endemic)

Calamus holttumii

rotan perut ayam

Malaysia: Peninsular (endemic)

Calamus huegelianus

soojibetha

India: Tamil Nadu (endemic)


Scientific Names

Selected Local Names1

Distribution2

Calamus hypertrichosus

?

Malaysia: Sarawak. Indonesia: Kalimantan

Calamus inermis

rong

India: West Bengal; Bhutan; Sikkim

Calamus inops*

rotan tohiti

Indonesia: Sulawesi

Calamus jenningsianus

lagipi

Philippines: Mindoro

Calamus karuensis

rotan penjalin rawa

Indonesia: Sumatra

Calamus kjellbergii

?

Indonesia: Sulawesi

Calamus koordersianus*

rotan boga

Indonesia: Sulawesi

Calamus laevigatus var. serpentinus*

rotan tunggal

Malaysia: Sabah (endemic)

Calamus laxissimus

?

Malaysia: Peninsular (endemic)

Calamus longispathus*

rotan kunyung

Malaysia: Peninsular (endemic)

Calamus manan#

rotan manau

Malaysia: Peninsular; Indonesia: Sumatra; Borneo; Thailand ?

Calamus megaphyllus*

banakbo

Philippines: Leyte

Calamus melanoloma

rotan gelengdage

Indonesia: Java

Calamus melanorhynchus*

dalimban

Philippines: Mindanao

Calamus merrillii#

palasan

Philippines: Luzon

Calamus meyenianus

?

Philippines: Pangasi, Nueva Vizcaya

Calamus minahassae*

datu

Indonesia: Sulawesi

Calamus minutus

?

Malaysia: Peninsular (endemic)

Calamus mitis*

matkong

Philippines: Batanes, Babuyan

Calamus moorhousei

?

Malaysia: Peninsular (endemic)

Calamus moseleyanus*

sarani

Philippines: Basilan, Malanipa

Calamus multinervis*

balala

Philippines: Mindanao

Calamus multirameus

?

Malaysia: Peninsular (endemic)

Calamus nagbettai

nag betta

India: Karnataka, Coorg & South Kanara Dist. (endemic)

Calamus nicobaricus

tchye

India: Great Nicobar Island (endemic)

Calamus nielsenii

?

Malaysia: Sarawak (endemic)

Calamus ovoideus#

thudarena

Sri Lanka (endemic)

Calamus pachystemonus

kukulu wel

Sri Lanka (endemic)

Calamus padangensis

?

Malaysia: Peninsular (endemic)

Calamus penicillatus

rotan batu

Malaysia: Peninsular (endemic)

Calamus platyacanthus 

song mat

Vietnam


Scientific Names

Selected Local Names1

Distribution2

Calamus poensis

?

Malaysia: Sarawak (endemic)

Calamus poilanei

u pôn

Vietnam: Lam Dong, Phu Khanh

Calamus pseudoscutellaris

r'sui

Vietnam: Lam Dong, Phu Khanh, Dong Nai

Calamus pycnocarpus

rotan kong

Malaysia: Peninsular (endemic)

Calamus radiatus

kukulu wel

Sri Lanka (endemic)

Calamus radulosus

?

Malaysia: Peninsular (endemic)

Calamus ridleyanus

rotan kerai

Malaysia: Peninsular; Singapore (endemic to Malay Peninsula)

Calamus rivalis

ela wewel

Sri Lanka (endemic)

Calamus robinsonianus

?

Indonesia: Moluccas

Calamus scutellaris

cây mai

Vietnam: Thanh Hoa

Calamus sedens*

rotan dudok

Malaysia: Peninsular (endemic)

Calamus semoi*

wi tut

Malaysia: Sarawak (endemic)

Calamus senalingensis

?

Malaysia: Peninsular (endemic)

Calamus setulosus

rotan kerai

Malaysia: Peninsular (endemic)

Calamus simplex*

rotan kerai gunung

Malaysia: Peninsular (endemic)

Calamus spectabilis

ombol

Indonesia: Java, Sumatra

Calamus spectatissimus

rotan semut

Malaysia: Peninsular; Indonesia: Kalimantan, Sumatra; Thailand

Calamus symphysipus*

rotan umbol

Philippines: Catanduanes, Bucas Grande; Indonesia, Sulawesi

Calamus tanakadatei

rotan tekok

Malaysia: Peninsular (endemic)

Calamus tonkinensis

may dang

Vietnam

Calamus trispermus*

?

Philippines: Luzon

Calamus vidalianus*

yantok

Philippines: Luzon

Calamus vinosus

yaming

Philippines: Mindanao

Calamus warburgii*

?

Indonesia: Irian Jaya

Calamus whitmorei

?

Malaysia: Peninsular (endemic)

Calamus zeylanicus

thambotu wel

Sri Lanka (endemic)

Calospatha scortechinii*

rotan demuk

Malaysia: Peninsular (endemic)

Ceratolobus glaucescens

rotan beula

Indonesia: Java

Ceratolobus kingianus

rotan jere landak

Malaysia: Peninsular (endemic)

Ceratolobus pseudoconcolor

rotan omas

Indonesia: Java, Sumatra

Daemonorops acamptostachys

daun wi, rotan dudok

Malaysia: Sarawak, Sabah; Indonesia: Kalimantan


Scientific Names

Selected Local Names1

Distribution2

Daemonorops affinis

bag-bag

Philippines: Mindanao

Daemonorops clemensiana*

?

Philippines: Mindanao

Daemonorops curranii*

pitpit

Philippines: Palawan

Daemonorops leptopus*

rotan bacap

Malaysia: Peninsular; Singapore (endemic to Malay Peninsula)

Daemonorops loheriana

?

Philippines: Luzon

Daemonorops longispatha*

wi tibu

Borneo 

Daemonorops macrophylla

rotan cincin

Malaysia: Peninsular (endemic)

Daemonorops manii

chang bet

India: Andaman Islands (endemic)

Daemonorops margaritae var. palawanicus

ka-api

Philippines: Palawan

Daemonorops oligophylla

?

Malaysia: Peninsular (endemic)

Daemonorops pannosa

sabilog

Philippines: Leyte

Daemonorops sepal

rotan getah gunung

Malaysia: Peninsular (endemic)

Daemonorops unijuga

?

Malaysia: Sarawak (endemic)

Daemonorops urdanetana

sahaan

Philippines: Mindanao

Korthalsia junghuhnii

rotan bulu

Indonesia: Java

Korthalsia lanceolata

rotan dahan

Malaysia: Peninsular (endemic)

Korthalsia merrillii

?

Philippines: Palawan (endemic)

Korthalsia rogersii

?

India: Andaman Islands (endemic)

Korthalsia tenuissima

rotan daha tikus

Malaysia: Peninsular (endemic)

Plectocomia billitonensis

?

Indonesia: Sumatra, Belitung Island

Plectocomia dransfieldiana

rotan mantang ilang

Malaysia: Peninsular (endemic)

Plectocomia elmeri

binting dalaga

Philippines: Mindanao, Mt. Apo 

Plectocomia longistigma

?

Indonesia: Java, east

Plectocomia lorzingii

?

Indonesia: Sumatra, Sibolangit

Plectocomia pygmaea

?

Indonesia: Kalimantan, Sei Poetat, Pontianak

Plectocomiopsis wrayi

rotan pepe

Malaysia: Peninsular (endemic)

Pogonotium moorei

?

Malaysia: Sarawak, Gunung Gaharu (endemic)

Pogonotium ursinum

rotan bulu

Malaysia: Peninsular, Sarawak; Brunei 

Notes:

1. Other local names are given in some of the sources cited.
2. Distribution is within the Asian region as defined; some species
also occur elsewhere.
# Major commercial species, as defined by Dransfield and Manokaran, 1993.
* Minor commercial species, as defined by Dransfield and Manokaran, 1993.

Sources: Alam, 1990; Avé, 1988; Basu, 1992; De Zoysa and Vivekanandan, 1994; Dransfield, 1979, 1982, 1984, 1992; Dransfield and Manokaran, 1993; Gagnepain, 1937; Guzman and Fernando, 1986; Johnson, 1991b; Kurz, 1874; Lakshmana, 1993; Liao, 1994; Madulid, 1981; Pearce, 1994; Rattan Information Centre Bulletin, various issues; Renuka, 1992, 1995; Siebert, 1989.



Non-threatened Asian Rattans

On the basis of current knowledge, only 25 Asian rattans are not under threat from exploitation and deforestation. Table 4-6 identifies these species. Why these rattans are not threatened is unclear. The answer probably lies in some combination of factors such as their greater natural populations, in some cases broader geographic ranges, adaptability to forest disturbance and the clustering grown form which characterizes about three-fourths of the species listed.
 
 
 

Table 4-6: Non-threatened Asian Rattans
 
 


Scientific Names

Selected Local Names1

Distribution2

Calamus burckianus*

howe belukbuk

Indonesia: Java

Calamus exilis#

rotang gunung

Peninsular Malaysia; Indonesia: Sumatra

Calamus formosanus

(Formosan cane)

Taiwan

Calamus gregisectus

?

Myanmar

Calamus heteroideus*

howe cacing

Indonesia: Java, Sumatra

Calamus javensis#

rotan opot

Malaysia: Peninsular, Sarawak, Sabah; Brunei; Singapore; Indonesia: Kalimantan, Java, Sumatra; Philippines: Palawan; Thailand

Calamus pseudotenuis

perumperambu

India: Deccan Peninsula, Western Ghats. Sri Lanka

Calamus reinwardtii

rotan dedek

Indonesia: Java (endemic)

Calamus trachycoleus#

rotan itit

Indonesia: Kalimantan

Daemonorops calicarpa*

lumpit

Peninsular Malaysia; Indonesia: Sumatra

Daemonorops crinita*

?

Indonesia: Sumatra, Kalimantan

Daemonorops didymophylla*

rotan tunggal

Malaysia: Peninsular, Sarawak, Sabah; Brunei; Singapore; Indonesia: Kalimantan, Sumatra; Thailand

Daemonorops fissa*

rotan kotok

Malaysia: Sarawak, Sabah; Brunei; Indonesia: Kalimantan

Daemonorops grandis*

rotan sendang

Peninsular Malaysia; Singapore; Thailand

Daemonorops hallieriana

?

Indonesia: Kalimantan

Daemonorops macroptera

?

Indonesia: Sulawesi

Daemonorops oblonga*

rotan pitik

Indonesia: Java

Daemonorops rubra*

teretes

Indonesia: Java

Korthalsia echinometra#

uwi hurang

Malaysia: Peninsular, Sarawak, Sabah; Brunei; Singapore; Indonesia: Kalimantan, Sumatra

Korthalsia laciniosa#

rotan dahan

Peninsular Malaysia; Singapore; Indonesia: Java, Sumatra; Philippines; Vietnam; Thailand, Myanmar; India: Andaman & Nicobar Islands

Korthalsia zippelii

inuwai

Indonesia: Irian Jaya


Myrialepis paradoxa*

(syn. M. scorthechinii)

rotan kertong

Malaysia: Peninsular; Singapore; Indonesia: Sumatra; Thailand; Kampuchea; Myanmar; Vietnam

Plectocomia elongata var. elongata

wi

Malaysia: Peninsular, Sarawak, Sabah; Indonesia: Java, Sumatra; Brunei; Vietnam

Plectocomia mulleri

rotan tibu

Malaysia: Peninsular, Sarawak, Sabah; Indonesia: Kalimantan; Brunei

Plectocomiopsis geminiflora*

ialis, rotan pa

Malaysia: Peninsular, Sarawak, Sabah; Indonesia: Kalimantan, Sumatra; Brunei; Thailand

Notes: 1. Other local names are given in some of the sources cited.
2. Distribution is within the Asian region as defined; some species
also occur elsewhere.
# Major commercial species, as defined by Dransfield
and Manokaran, 1993.
* Minor commercial species, as defined by Dransfield
and Manokaran, 1993.
Sources: Same as Table 4-5.

Asian Rattans with Unknown Conservation Status

Documented utilization information of rattan species which also lack conservation-status information prompted the compilation of Table 4-7. Dransfield and Manokaran (1993) summarized information on 30 major and 105 minor rattan species. The 86 rattan species the authors described which were not included in either Tables 4-5 or 4-6 are listed in Table 4-7. That we know nothing about the status in the wild of such a large number of useful rattan species is indeed alarming.
 
 
 

Table 4-7: Asian Rattans with Unknown Conservation Status and Reported Uses
 
 


Scientific Names

Selected Local Names1

Distribution2

Calamus albus*

rotan putih

Indonesia: Moluccas (endemic ?)

Calamus aruensis*

?

Indonesia: Moluccas

Calamus arugda*

arugda

Philippines: Cagayan, Luzon

Calamus axillaris*

rotan sega air

Malaysia: Peninsular, Sarawak; Brunei; Indonesia: Sumatra

Calamus blumei*

rotan tukas

Malaysia: Peninsular, Sarawak, Sabah; Brunei; Indonesia: Kalimantan, Sumatra; Thailand

Calamus boniensis*

tomani

Indonesia: Sulawesi (endemic ?)

Calamus caesius#

rotan sega

Malaysia: Peninsular, Sarawak, Sabah; Indonesia: Kalimantan, Sumatra; Philippines: Palawan

Calamus castaneus*

rotan cucor

Peninsular Malaysia; Indonesia: Sumatra; Thailand

Calamus conirostris*

rotan dago kancil

Malaysia: Peninsular, Sarawak, Sabah; Brunei; Indonesia: Kalimantan, Sumatra

Calamus didymocarpus*

nue waatang

Malaysia: Sulawesi (endemic ?)


 


Scientific Names

Selected Local Names1

Distribution2

Calamus diepenhorstii*

rotan batu

Malaysia: Peninsular, Sarawak, Sabah; Brunei; Singapore; Indonesia: Sumatra; Philippines: Palawan; Thailand

Calamus egregius#

duanye shengteng

China: Hainan Island (endemic)

Calamus elmerianus*

sababai

Philippines: Tayabas, Dinagat, Agusan, Davao

Calamus erioacanthus*

wi buluh

Malaysia: Sarawak (endemic)

Calamus flabellatus*

rotan lilin

Malaysia: Peninsular, Sarawak, Sabah; Brunei; Indonesia: Kalimantan, Sumatra

Calamus gibbsianus*

silau-silau

Malaysia: Sarawak, Sabah

Calamus halconensis var. dimorphacanthus*

lambutan

Philippines: Laguna, Mindoro

Calamus hispidulus*

rotan bulu

Malaysia: Sarawak; Indonesia: Kalimantan

Calamus hollrungii*

uawa jawa

Indonesia: Irian Jaya

Calamus insignis*

rotan batu

Peninsular Malaysia; Singapore; Indonesia: Sumatra; Thailand

Calamus laevigatus* var. laevigatus and var. mucronatus

rotan tunggal

Malaysia: Peninsular, Sarawak, Sabah; Brunei; Singapore; Indonesia: Kalimantan, Sumatra

Calamus leiocaulis*

rotan jermasi

Indonesia: Sulawesi (endemic ?)

Calamus leptostachys*

ronti

Indonesia: Sulawesi (endemic ?)

Calamus longisetus*

leme

Myanmar; Thailand; Peninsular Malaysia

Calamus luridus*

huwi pantis

Peninsular Malaysia; Indonesia: Sumatra; Thailand

Calamus manillensis*

bayabong

Philippines: Nueva Viscaya, Tayabas, Sorsogon, Dinagat, Agusan, Davao, Surigao

Calamus marginatus*

rotan besi

Malaysia: Sarawak, Sabah; Brunei; Indonesia: Kalimantan, Sumatra; Philippines: Palawan

Calamus mattanensis*

rotan maran

Malaysia: Sarawak; Indonesia: Kalimantan

Calamus microcarpus*

kalapit

Philippines: Rizal, Laguna, Tayabas, Camarines, Sorsogon, Davao, Agusan, Lanao

Calamus microsphaerion*

kulakling

Philippines: Palawan, Bataan, Culion; Malaysia: Sabah

Calamus mindorensis#

tumalim

Philippines: Luzon, Mindanao

Calamus muricatus*

rotan melukut

Malaysia: Sarawak, Sabah; Brunei; Indonesia: Kalimantan, Sumatra

Calamus myriacanthus*

wi dudok

Malaysia: Sarawak; Indonesia: Kalimantan; Brunei

Calamus optimus#

rotan taman

Malaysia: Sarawak, Sabah; Indonesia: Kalimantan; Brunei

Calamus ornatus#

rotan kesup

Malaysia: Peninsular, Sarawak, Sabah; Singapore; Brunei; Indonesia: Java, Sumatra, Sulawesi; Philippines; Thailand

Calamus oxleyanus*

manau riang

Malaysia: Peninsular, Sarawak, Sabah; Brunei; Singapore; Indonesia: Sumatra; Thailand


 


Scientific Names

Selected Local Names1

Distribution2

Calamus palustris#

rotan buku hitam

Peninsular Malaysia; Myanmar; Thailand; Vietnam; China; India: Nicobar and Andaman Islands

Calamus paspalanthus*

rotan sirikis

Malaysia: Peninsular, Sarawak, Sabah; Indonesia: Kalimantan; Brunei

Calamus pedicellatus*

samole

Indonesia: Sulawesi (endemic)

Calamus perakensis*

rotan dudok

Peninsular Malaysia; Indonesia: Sumatra

Calamus peregrinus*

nguay

Thailand; Peninsular Malaysia

Calamus pilosellus*

rotan lintang

Malaysia: Sarawak, Sabah; Indonesia: Kalimantan; Brunei (endemic to Borneo)

Calamus pogonacanthus#

wi tut

Malaysia: Sarawak, Sabah; Indonesia: Kalimantan; Brunei (endemic to Borneo)

Calamus polystachys*

wai lau cincin

Peninsular Malaysia; Indonesia: Java, Sumatra

Calamus ramulosus*

panlis

Philippines: Luzon (endemic)

Calamus reyesianus*

apas

Philippines: Laguna, Tayabas, Quezon

Calamus rhomboideus*

rotan dawuh

Indonesia: Sumatra, Java

Calamus rhytidomus*

?

Indonesia: Kalimantan

Calamus ruvidus*

wee lumbak

Malaysia: Sarawak (endemic)

Calamus scabridulus*

dara panda

Peninsular Malaysia; Indonesia: Sumatra

Calamus scipionum#

rotan semambu

Malaysia: Peninsular, Sarawak, Sabah; Brunei; Singapore; Indonesia: Kalimantan, Sumatra; Philippines: Palawan; Thailand

Calamus simplicifolius#

danye shengteng

China: Hainan Island

Calamus siphonospathus*

talola

Philippines: Luzon, Mindanao; Indonesia: Sulawesi

Calamus spinifolius*

kurakling

Philippines: Luzon

Calamus subinermis#

rotan batu

Malaysia: Sabah; Philippines: Palawan; Indonesia: Sulawesi

Calamus tetradactylus#

baiteng (white rattan)

China: South, Hainan Island 

Calamus tomentosus*

rotan tukas

Peninsular Malaysia; Borneo

Calamus tumidus#

rotan manau tikus

Peninsular Malaysia; Indonesia: Sumatra

Calamus ulur*

?

Peninsular Malaysia; Indonesia: Sumatra

Calamus unifarius*

wai sidekeni

Indonesia: Java, Sumatra; India: Nicobar Islands 

Calamus usitatus*

babuyan

Philippines; Malaysia: Sabah

Calamus viminalis*

penjalin cacing

Indonesia: Java, Bali, Sumatra; Peninsular Malaysia; Kampuchea; Thailand; Myanmar; Bangladesh; Sikkim; India: Andaman Islands, West Bengal, Bihar, Orissa, Pradesh, Maharastra

Calamus wailong#

wailong

China: Yunnan (endemic)

Calamus zollingeri#

rotan batang

Indonesia: Sulawesi, Moluccas


 


Scientific Names

Selected Local Names1

Distribution2

Daemonorops angustifolia*

rotan getah

Peninsular Malaysia; Thailand

Daemonorops draco*

rotan jernang

Indonesia: Sumatra, Kalimantan, Riau Archipelago; Malaysia: Sarawak

Daemonorops elongata*

lempinin pahetan

Indonesia: Kalimantan; Malaysia: Sabah (endemic to Borneo)

Daemonorops hystrix*

rotan sepet

Indonesia: Sumatra; Malaysia: Peninsular, Sarawak; Singapore

Daemonorops ingens*

keplar

Malaysia: Sarawak, Sabah; Brunei; Indonesia: Kalimantan (endemic to Borneo)

Daemonorops lamprolepis*

lapa

Indonesia: Sulawesi (endemic ?)

Daemonorops margaritae var. margaritae#

huangteng

China: South, Hainan Island

Daemonorops melanochaetes*

sekei udang

Indonesia: Java, Sumatra; Peninsular Malaysia

Daemonorops micracantha*

rotan jernang

Malaysia: Peninsular, Sarawak, Sabah; Indonesia: Kalimantan

Daemonorops ochrolepis*

ditaan

Philippines: Leyte

Daemonorops periacantha*

wi empunoh

Malaysia: Peninsular, Sarawak, Sabah; Brunei; Singapore; Indonesia: Kalimantan

Daemonorops propinqua*

rotan jernang

Peninsular Malaysia (endemic)

Daemonorops robusta#

rotan susu

Indonesia: Sulawesi, Moluccas

Daemonorops ruptilis*

widudok

Malaysia: Sarawak, Sabah; Brunei

Daemonorops sabut#

jungan

Malaysia: Peninsular, Sarawak, Sabah; Singapore; Brunei; Indonesia: Kalimantan; Thailand

Daemonorops scapigera*

wi empunok ruai

Malaysia: Peninsular, Sarawak, Sabah; Brunei; Indonesia: Kalimantan

Daemonorops sparsiflora*

wi ruah air

Malaysia: Sarawak, Sabah; Brunei; Indonesia: Kalimantan (endemic to Borneo)

Korthalsia cheb#

keb

Malaysia: Sarawak, Sabah; Indonesia: Kalimantan

Korthalsia flagellaris#

rotan dahan

Malaysia: Peninsular, Sarawak, Sabah; Singapore; Brunei; Indonesia: Sumatra

Korthalsia rigida#

rotan dahan

Malaysia: Peninsular, Sarawak, Sabah; Brunei; Indonesia: Kalimantan, Sumatra; Philippines: Palawan; Thailand

Korthalsia robusta#

rotan asas

Malaysia: Peninsular, Sarawak, Sabah; Brunei; Indonesia: Kalimantan, Sumatra; Philippines: Palawan

Korthalsia rostrata#

rotan semut

Malaysia: Peninsular, Sarawak, Sabah; Brunei; Singapore; Indonesia: Kalimantan, Sumatra; Thailand

Notes: 1. Other local names are given in some of the sources cited.
2. Distribution is within the Asian region as defined;
some species also occur elsewhere.
# Major commercial species, as defined by Dransfield and Manokaran, 1993.
* Minor commercial species, as defined by Dransfield and Manokaran, 1993.

Sources: Same as Table 4-5.

Discussion

A detailed discussion of rattan canes and their commercial and subsistence uses is beyond the scope of the present study. However, two objectives may be undertaken. First, to draw attention to the major sources of technical information on rattans and their products. Second, to examine other selected issues related to the exploitation of wild rattans.

Technical Information on Rattans

There has been an impressive outpouring of technical studies on rattans over the past decade and a half. Rattans have easily received more attention than all other wild palm products combined, a clear indication of their economic value.

Modern rattan development was initiated in 1975 with a rattan project in Peninsular Malaysia. Four years later, the first rattan workshop was held in Singapore (IDRC, 1980) sponsored by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) of Canada. Also the first regional rattan study, of Peninsular Malaysia, was published (Dransfield, 1979). Since then, more than 20 major publications have appeared (Table 4.8). Workshop proceedings, regional rattan studies and studies of specific topics have generated much-needed information in three major subject areas: taxonomy, distribution and ecology of wild rattans; domestication and plantation growth of promising species; and industrial processing of canes. Two rattan bibliographies are included among the publications in Table 4.8.

Rattan research is actively being carried on in several Asian countries, most prominently in Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines and India. A library of technical information on all aspects of rattans is housed at the Rattan Information Centre, Forest Research Institute Malaysia, Kepong. The Centre published a bulletin from 1982 to 1993 (see Chapter 11).

In an effort to promote collaborative rattan research, the International Network for Bamboo and Rattan (INBAR) was established in 1993. It is located in New Delhi. INBAR is directing its activities toward five subject areas: socio-economic research; information, training and technology transfer; production research; post-harvest technology and utilization; and biodiversity and genetic conservation. INBAR publishes a quarterly newsletter (see Chapter 11) as well as a series of working papers and technical reports. The two initial working papers dealt with socio-economics (Duraiaippah, 1994; Nasendi, 1994). Technical reports issued have dealt with priority species for rattan cultivation (Williams and Ramanatha Rao, 1994) and rattan nursery techniques (Wan Razali et al., 1994).

Rattan-Related Issues

Four topics are relevant to the future of rattan as a non-wood forest product and should be touched upon here. The topics are: 1) increased wild sources of raw cane; 2) management of wild stands in a sustainable fashion; 3) conservation of threatened rattans and their habitat; and 4) socio-economic and cultural issues related to rattan collecting. Each of these topics should be reviewed as part of any forestry activity which includes rattan collecting.

Table 4-8: Major Publications on Rattan Since 1979
 


Abbreviated Title and Reference

Geographic Coverage

Contents/Comments

Rattans. PROSEA 6
(Dransfield & Manokaran,1993)
Bibliography
(Wulijarni-Soitjipto & Danimihardja, 1995).

China, Vietnam, Laos. Kampuchea, Thailand, Myanmar, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Philippines, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea & Australia 

Introduction to rattans of region; 30 major spp. covered in detail; brief descriptions of 105 minor spp. Best single general information source. Bibliography provides localized references on rattans in Southeast Asia.

Rattan Bibliography
(Kong-Ong & Manokaran, 1986) 

World

All aspects of rattan from 1790 to June 1986.

Guide Cultivation Rattan
(Wan Razali et at, 1992)

Southeast Asia but with strong focus on Peninsular Malaysia & Borneo 

Field guide for growing rattan as commercial crop, includes discussions of econornics & processing. Primary source

Manual Production Rattan Furniture.
(UNIDO, 1983)

Asia 

Manual of processing, marketing, design, manufacturing, etc. Well illustrated guide to the industry

Rattan Workshop. (IDRC, 1980) 

Asia. Meeting site: Singapore 

Proceedings Ist regional rattan meeting (1979). Mostly consists of state-of-the art review of rattan at the time

Rattan Seminar. (Wong & Manokaran, 1985)

Asia; country reports on China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines & Thailand. Meeting site: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Proceedings 2nd regional rattan meeting (1984). Technical papers (23) on following topics: propagation practices; ecology & silviculture; properties, pests& diseases; processing & utilization-, extension & information dissemination. Broad coverage of key issues.

Recent Research on Rattans.
(Rao & Vongkaluang, 1989) 

Asia. Meeting site: Chiangmai, Thailand 

Proceedings 3rd regional rattan meeting (1987). Technical papers (36) on following topics: research; growth & silviculture: biology; processing & utilization; properties & multipurpose uses; economics & production. Benchmark on research.

Rattan Management & Utilization.
(Chand Basha & Bhat, 1993) 

Primarily India; also Malaysia and Sri Lanka. Meeting site: Trichur, Kerala, India 

Proceedings of Indian rattan meeting (1992). Technical papers (50) on following topics: area status reports, resource assessment & conservation; production & management; structure, properties & processing; socio-economics & trade. Good mix of research and technology

Third National Rattan Conference(ATI, 1995) 

Philippines. Meeting site: Manila. 

National rattan meeting (1995). Theme: Strengthening Community Resource Management Through NTFP Enterprise Development. Papers on rattan and in general

Rattan Workshop. (PCARRD, 1990) 

Philippines. Meeting site: Cebu City, Philippines 

National rattan meeting ([988). Technical papers (10) on various apects Of production, processing & marketing


 


Abbreviated Title and reference

Geographic Coverage

Contents/Comments

Rattans - Philippines. (PCARRD, 1985) 

Philippines 

Summary of information & recommended practices for plantation establishment, management, cane processing & marketing.

Rattans - Malay Peninsula.
(Dransfield, 1979) 

West Malaysia & Singapore 

Taxonomy of native rattans with good line drawings of 104 spp; natural history; utilization & cultivation; common names.

Rattans - Sabah. (Dransfield, 1984) 

Sabah, East Malaysia 

Taxonomy of 79 native rattan spp. with line drawings of each.

Rattans - Sarawak. (Dransfield, 1992) 

Sarawak, 
East Malaysia 

Same format as Sabah book of 105 native rattan slip.

Rattans - India. (Basu, 1992) 

India, including
Andaman & Nicobar Islands 

Taxonomic study of 48 native rattan spp., with line drawings & information on propagation & utilization.

Rattans - Western Ghats. (Renuka, 1992) 

Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, 
Kerala Tamil
Nadu states, India 

Taxonomic study of 19 native rattan spp. of South India, with line drawings & distribution maps. Flowering & fruiting seasons given.

Rattans - South India. (Lakshmana, 1993) 

Same as above 

General study including taxonomy: silviculture; regeneration; pests & diseases; utilization.

South Indian Rattans (Bhat, 1992) 

Same as above 

Structure & properties of 15 native Calamus spp.

Kerala Rattans (Renuka et al., 1987) 

Kerala State, India 

Morphology, anatomy & physical properties of 10 native Calamus spp.

Rattans - Andaman & Nicobar Islands.
(Renuka, 1995) 

Andaman & Nicobar Islands, India 

Taxonomic study of 18 native rattan spp., with line drawings & distribution maps; utilization; good color photos.

Rattans - Sri Lanka. 
(De Zoysa & Vivekanandah, 1994) 

Sri-Lanka 

Field guide to 10 native rattan spp., with line drawings & color photos. Full information on biology & utilization

Bamboo & Rattan - Sri Lanka.
(De Zoysa & Vivekanandah, 1991) 

SriLanka 

Detailed study of 8 rattan and 4 bamboo spp. native to & utilized in Sri Lanka. Illustrated.

Rattans - Bangladesh. (Alain, 1990) 

Bangladesh 

Taxonomic study of I I spp. of native rattan s.


 

Increased wild cane sources. Quantities of useable raw cane can be increased in two major ways. One is to improve harvesting techniques to minimize waste. Rattan gatherers sometimes are unable to reach the full length of commercial cane they have cut and it goes to waste. Immature rattans are cut rather than being allowed to grow to more worthwhile cane lengths. Gatherers may leave harvested small-diameter canes in the forest to rot because they derive more income from carrying out a large-diameter cane. The foregoing problems are inherent to the gathering of non-wood forest products everywhere in the tropics and are discussed as a socio-economic issue.

A second means of increasing wild cane production is to harvest a wider range of different species. At present, only about 20 percent of the rattan species have commercial use (Dransfield and Manokaran, 1993). Clearly there is potential to begin to utilize some of the remaining 80 percent of the species. To introduce new commercial species to the industry requires involvement at every level of the product chain from the rattan gatherer to the rattan product consumer. Central to finding new commercial rattan species is field research on the plants themselves, study of their technical properties and educating collectors and end users about the new raw material. A good example of an attempt to increase wild cane production is to be found in South India where research efforts are focusing on 15 native Calamus spp. as sources of raw material for cane furniture and other products (Renuka, 1992; Bhat, 1992). Lesser known-canes can contribute to wild rattan supplies; some also can be selected for silvicultural trials (Dransfield, 1985).

Rattan management. To insure stable rattan supplies in the future, management is a reasonable compromise between continuing to rely exclusively on wild rattans and outright rattan cultivation. Rattans pose unique management difficulties because of their growth habit since they may climb from tree to tree in the forest canopy. This creates problems in the inventory of standing stock as well as in monitoring of the conditions of rattan populations and their natural regeneration.

Three basic types of management are applicable to rattans:

A) Natural regeneration within the forest. This level of management requires no specific technical inputs but does require that a sustainable harvest plan be developed and adopted. Protected areas such as national parks, nature preserves or watersheds any of which permit gathering of wild resources are highly suitable to this management approach. Siebert (1995) has shown that sustained-yield rattan harvest is achievable within two Indonesian national parks. Designating extractive reserves for rattan harvest, as suggested by Peluso (1992) for Kalimantan, Indonesia, would fit within this management approach.

B) Enhanced natural regeneration and or cultivation within natural forest. In this instance, forest cover is still largely intact (the area may have been selectively logged) and an area may be set aside for rattan and other non-wood forest products. Management inputs may include clearing of competing undergrowth vegetation in naturally-occurring forest canopy gaps to promote young rattan growth. Selective felling to create artificial canopy gaps is also an option. It is well known that canopy gaps are highly favorable for rattan growth (Chandrashekara, 1993). Priasukmana (1989) reports on planting rattan within the natural forest of East Kalimantan, Indonesia, to increase rattan stock.

C) Rattan cultivation as part of shifting cultivation or agroforestry. Incorporation of rattan into shifting cultivation is an indigenous system in Kalimantan. Weinstock (1983) describes how the Luangan Dayaks clear a forest plot to plant food crops for 1-2 years, but before leaving the land fallow they plant rattan. When the rotation is repeated in 7-15 years, the farmer first harvests the rattan then clears the plot again for food crops. Godoy (1990) suggests that traditional rattan cultivation be incorporated into new agroforestry systems to raise small landholder income. In Malaysia, trials to interplant rattans with rubber trees are being studied (Aminuddin et al., 1985). All of these approaches merit further attention since rattan cannot be grown as a monocultural crop.



Rattan conservation. Conservation is a matter of expediency for rattans because of the raw material shortages being experienced by rattan industries in Southeast Asia and because of the potential loss of essential gene pools for rattan domestication and plantation establishment.

It is somewhat encouraging that the need for rattan conservation is beginning to be recognized seriously. A CIRAD-Foret collaborative program in Malaysia is focused on seed collection, establishment of conservation plots and genetic diversity (Durand, 1995). Five of the major rattan species listed in Tables 4-5, 4-6 and 4-7 are under study: Calamas manan (threatened); C. trachycoleus (non-threatened) and C. caesius, C. optimus and C. subinermus (all of unknown status).

Rattan conservation cannot be separated from general forest conservation. The combination of decreasing forest cover and over-exploitation of wild canes threatens the very survival of a commercial rattan industry in many parts of Southeast Asia (Dransfield, 1989). As shown in Table 4-7, the sad fact is that we do not know enough about the conservation status of wild rattans to identify which areas should be the focus of priority conservation actions.

Socio-economic and cultural issues.The impact on local rattan collectors of the decline in wild rattan resources is often overshadowed by the more publicized concerns for the rattan product industry. Affected groups may be indigenous people living a relatively traditional life in or near the forest or small landholders eking out a living with shifting cultivation. There are a number of instances of local groups which are dependent upon gathering wild rattan and other non-wood forest products for a cash income to purchase necessary modern industrial goods.

Examples from the Philippines include the following: Antolin (1995) writes of rattan collecting as an important source of employment in the uplands of northeastern Luzon; Conelly (1985) describes how rattan and copal collecting represents a significant source of cash income for the Tagbanua of Palawan Island; and Siebert and Belsky (1985) relate how a lowland village depends upon collecting rattan and harvesting timber for a key source of livelihood. Peluso (1992) and Weinstock (1983), already referred to above with respect to Kalimantan, Indonesia, also stress the socio-economic importance of rattan. In Malaysia, Kiew (1991) and Lim and Noor (1995) emphasize how the Orang Asli communities have a stake in the future of rattan collecting.

Two interrelated socio-economic elements play a vital role in the future of rattans as non-wood forest products. One is land tenure. Rattan management, of whatever kind, will only be a success if those involved have clear title to the land, or have long and easily renewable lease rights, so that the future benefits of sustainable practices can be guaranteed. The second element involves the rattan collectors’ stake in the rattan resources they exploit. Currently, a rattan collector rationally maximizes his or her income by harvesting the best and most accessible canes, because they are paid by the piece for their labors. Larger canes bring the best price and

minimizing walking time is an efficiency for the collector. This same situation applies to most non-wood forest product collecting. What is needed is a means to provide the rattan collector with a stake in wild resource management and a method of payment which rewards sustainable practices over excessive or wasteful exploitation.

Other Uses of Rattan Palms

A discussion of rattan utilization would be incomplete without mention of useful products other than canes. Examples of secondary products uses are summarized in Table 4-9. It should be pointed out that Table 4-9 contains data on only the 232 rattans in Tables 4-5, 4-6 and 4-7, or roughly 35-40 percent of Asian rattans. Secondary uses are documented for other rattan species as well; uses given in Table 4-9 are representative of rattan palms in general.

Not included in Table 4-9 but worth mentioning because it is unusual is the apparent exploitation of a rattan in Thailand for palm heart. A company in Chiangmai is canning and exporting a product they call "Rattan Shoot." But it is in fact palm heart and is derived possibly from Daemonorops schmidtiana (John Dransfield, pers. com.). No information is available about whether this endemic species has value for its cane; its conservation status is unknown.

Table 4-9: Secondary Uses and Products of Rattan Species Listed in Tables 4-5, 4-6 and 4-7
 
 


Product/Use

Genus and Species

fruit eaten

Calamus conirostris; C. dongnaiensis; C. longisetus;
C. manillensis; C. merrillii; C. ornatus1; C. paspalanthus;
C. pseudoscutellaris; C. subinermis; C. viminalis
Calospatha scortechinii
Daemonorops hystrix; D. ingens; D. periacantha; D. ruptilis

palm heart eaten

Calamus egregius; C. javensis; C. muricatus; C. paspalanthus;
C. pseudoscutellaris; C. simplicifolius; C. subinermis
Daemonorops fissa; D. longispatha; D. margaritae;
D. melanochaetes; D. periacantha; D. scapigera; 
D. schmidtiana; D. sparsiflora
Plectocomiopsis geminiflora

seeds chewed

Calamus tonkinensis

fruit in traditional medicine

Calamus castaneus; C. longispathus
Daemonorops didymophylla 

palm heart in traditional medicine

Calamus exilis; C. javensis; C. ornatus
Daemonorops grandis
Korthalsia rigida

fruit as red dye source

Daemonorops didymophylla; D. draco; D. maculata;
D. micracantha; D. propinqua; D. rubra

leaves for thatching

Calamus andamanicus; C. castaneus; C. dilaceratus; C. longisetus
Daemonorops calicarpa; D. elongata; D. grandis; D. ingens; D. manii 

leaflet as cigarette wrapper

Calamus longispathus
Daemonorops leptopus

leaf sheath/petiole for grater

Calamus burckianus; C. insignis

rachis for fishing pole

Daemonorops grandis

Note: 1. See Table 9-6 for nutritional composition of fruit.
Sources: Same as Table 4-5.

Photographs:

Photo 4-1. Cultivated sago palm (Metroxylon sagu) in Sarawak, East Malaysia. Photograph by Dennis Johnson.

Photo 4-2. Sago palm starch (Metroxylon sagu) for sale in West Kalimantan, Indonesia. The starch is wrapped in leaves from the same palm. Photograph by Johanis Mogea.

Photo 4-3. Rattan canes (Calamus spp.) drying in the sun in South Sulawesi, Indonesia. Photograph by Johanis Mogea.

Photo 4-4. Rattan factory. Java, Indonesia. Photograph by Dennis Johnson.

Photo 4-5. Nipa palm (Nypa fruticans) in habitat in Sarawak, East Malaysia. Photograph by Dennis Johnson.

Photo 4-6. Salak palm fruits (Salacca zalacca) for sale. Java, Indonesia. Photograph by Dennis Johnson.

Photo 4-7. House wall panels made from buri leaves (Corypha utan). Mindanao, Philippines. Photograph by Dennis Johnson.

Photo 4-8. Boiling down sap of buri palm (Corypha utan) to make sugar. Mindanao, Philippines. Photograph by Domingo Madulid.

Photo 4-9. Calamus merrillii fruits (center) being sold in the Baguio Market, Philippines. Photograph by Domingo Madulid.

Photo 4-10. Wild date palm (Phoenix sylvestris) along a roadside. West Bengal, India. Photograph by Dennis Johnson.

Photo 4-11. Brushes made from palmyra palm (Borassus flabellifer) leaf-base fiber. Tamil Nadu, India. Photograph by Dennis Johnson.

Photo 4-12. Assorted products made from palmyra palm (Borassus flabellifer) leaf fiber. Tamil Nadu, India. Photograph by Dennis Johnson.

Photo 4-13. Sawing boards of coconut wood (Cocos nucifera) in Mindanao, Philippines. Photograph by Dennis Johnson.

Photo 4-14. Tapping nipa palm (Nypa fruticans) using a bamboo container to collect the sap. Mindanao, Philippines. Photograph by Domingo Madulid.


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