Calamus sashae J.Dransf. & W.J.Baker, 2014

Baker, William J. & Dransfield, John, 2014, New rattans from New Guinea (Calamus, Arecaceae), Phytotaxa 163 (4), pp. 181-215 : 205-207

publication ID 10.11646/phytotaxa.163.4.1

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Calamus sashae J.Dransf. & W.J.Baker


11. Calamus sashae J.Dransf. & W.J.Baker , sp. nov. Type:— INDONESIA. West Papua Province: Manokwari Regency, Warmare , valley of River Prafi , new road to Manyambo , 400 m, 0°47’S, 133°58’E, 25 August 1995, Dransfield et al. JD 7601 (holotype K!, isotypes BO!, FTG!, MAN!) GoogleMaps

Diagnosis:— Distinguished by its robust habit, ecirrate leaves with regularly arranged rather narrow leaflets, the sheaths armed with large, scattered or grouped spines, the knee unarmed, and the very robust pistillate inflorescence with few, very distant partial inflorescences, rachillae with widely funnel-shaped, almost overlapping dark bracts and solitary fruit.

Robust solitary or clustering rattan climbing to 20 m. Stem with sheaths 27–35 mm diam., without sheaths to 15– 19 mm diam.; internodes up to 37 cm. Leaf ecirrate, to 2.5 m long; sheath mid-green, drying pale brown, with dense mid-brown indumentum, sheath spines robust, persistent, abundant, usually rather uniform, 20–40 × 3–5 mm, with swollen bases, solitary or grouped in partial whorls, pale brown with reddish bases when fresh, drying brown, horizontal or reflexed, narrow triangular, laminar, those around the leaf sheath mouth smaller and more crowded; knee conspicuous, to 60 × 13 mm, drying same colour as sheath, unarmed; ocrea poorly developed, membranous; flagellum very robust, to 4 m long; petiole 10–40 cm long, 20 mm wide and 9 mm thick at base, armed along margins with sparse slightly reflexed spines to 15 mm long, with swollen bases and black tips and sparse spines on abaxial surface, brown indumentum abundant; rachis to 2 m long, basally armed abaxially with scattered robust reflexed spines to 10 × 3 mm with swollen bases, distally armed with grapnel groups of spines; leaflets to 62 on each side of rachis, regularly arranged, narrow lanceolate, longest leaflet in mid-leaf, basalmost leaflets to 22–24 × 1.1–1.2 cm, mid-leaf leaflets 38–40 × 2.3–2.7 cm, apical leaflets 7–9 × 0.7–0.9 cm, apical leaflets joined in basal 2 cm, leaflets armed adaxially with slender, dark, sometimes pale tipped bristles to 9 mm long, along 2 main lateral veins and, rarely, also the midrib and along margins only at leaflet tip, leaflets lacking indumentum, transverse veinlets conspicuous, margins conspicuously thickened, leaflet drying dull adaxially, somewhat shiny abaxially. Staminate inflorescence not seen. Staminate flowers not seen. Pistillate inflorescence to 6.1 m long, including peduncle to 3.65 m, branched to 2 orders; prophyll and peduncular bracts not seen; rachis bracts strictly tubular, coriaceous, to at least 24 cm long with triangular tip, and bearing abundant reflexed spines to 6 mm long; primary branches 3, very distant, to 65 cm long, with up to 18 rachillae; rachillae 20–25 × 0.4 cm; rachilla bracts triangular, explanate, funnel-shaped, dark brown, 5 × 7 mm, distichous, tips reflexed, unarmed, and bearing dense dark brown indument; proximal floral bracteoles cup-shaped, 4 × 5.5 mm, distal floral bracteoles cup-shaped, 3 × 4 mm, scar from sterile staminate ca. 0.1 mm diam. Sterile staminate flower not seen. Pistillate flowers not seen. Fruit (reconstructed from empty pericarp) ovoid, ca. 15 × 12 mm with 24 vertical rows of pale brown highly convex scales with darker margins. Seed not seen (all mummified and severely damaged by insects). ( Fig. 11 View FIGURE 11 )

Distribution:— Known only from lowland forest in the foothills of the Arfak Mountains near Warmare and from the Wandammen Peninsula, both in West Papua Province, Indonesia.

Habitat:— Lowland forest at altitudes up to 400 m above sea level.

Uses:— None recorded.

Vernacular Names:— None recorded.

Specimens examined:— INDONESIA. West Papua Province: Manokwari Regency, Warmare, valley of River Prafi , new road to Manyambo , 400 m, 0°47’S, 133°58’E, 25 August 1995, Dransfield et al. JD 7601 (holotype K!, isotypes BO!, FTG!, MAN!); Manokwari Regency , Wasior District , Wandammen Peninsula , Kowi , near Wondiwoi village (formerly known as Kobiari village ), ca. 9 km south of Wasior , 350 m, 2°37'50"S, 134°29'55"E, 23 February 2000, Barrow et al. 127 (BO, K!, L, MAN) GoogleMaps .

Notes:— This robust rattan ( Fig. 11 View FIGURE 11 ) is easily distinguished by its ecirrate leaves with regularly arranged rather narrow leaflets, the sheaths armed with large, scattered or grouped spines, the unarmed knee, and the very robust female inflorescence with only few very distant partial inflorescences, the rachillae with explanate, funnel-shaped, almost overlapping dark bracts. Its general inflorescence morphology is similar to that of the paired fruit group ( Dransfield & Baker 2003), especially C. pholidostachys with which it also shares similar robust leaf sheath armature, but C. sashae does not bear paired fruit, nor does it possess a well-developed ocrea, as is typical for this group. The widely, funnel-shaped rachilla bracts are more pronounced than in any other New Guinea Calamus species , although they also occur, if less prominently, in other species such as C. nanduensis , C. pseudozebrinus and C. womersleyi . Of these, C. sashae is most similar to C. nanduensis , but this species differs in its much smaller rachilla bracts, the fine, needle-like leaf sheath spines and well-developed ocrea.

The species is named in honour of our former colleague and palm expert, Dr. Sasha Barrow, who collected one of the two known specimens of this species while accompanying the first author on joint fieldwork with the University of Papua and Herbarium Bogoriense.


Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden


Universitas Negeri Papua