Rattans are a collective term commonly used for the spiny climbing palms, classified under the subfamily Calomoideae of the family Arecaceae. Of the 13 genera of climbing palms Calamus is the largest genus with about 370 species (Renuka, 1991).Rattans are recognized as one of the most useful forest products in India and the resource plays an important role in the rural economy, employing many people in the remote areas who earn their living through extraction and cleaning of rattans.

Among the Indian rattans 25 species are considered to be endemic.  Evergreen forests of the Western Ghats form the largest natural home of rattans in south India, This include the only one genus of rattan i.e., Calamus. There are 19 species ofCalamus have been reported from Western Ghats.  Of these 17 species are endemic to these regions. Only two species viz. Calamus thwaitesii Becc. & Hook.f. and C. rotang have their distribution to Sri Lanka (Renuka, 1991).

Of all the states falling in the jurisdiction of Western Ghats, Karnataka has the maximum number of species of Calamus (13 species), of which five species are endemic to this region viz. C. karnatakensis, C. lacciferus, C. lakshmanae, C. prasinus, and C. stoloniferus (Lakshmana, 1993). In Karnataka the rattans are distributed in the Kodagu, Dakshina Kannada, Chikmagalur, Hassan and Uttara Kannada.  The highest number species of Calamus are found in Kodagu District (Lakshmana, 1993).

List of Calamus species planted in the Canetum


Name of plant species


Calamus dransfieldii Renuka


Calamus hookerianus  Becc. (PALMAE)


Calamus karnatakensis Renuka & Lakshmana (PALMAE)


Calamus lakshmanae Renuka (PALMAE)


Calamus nagabettai Fernandez & Dey (PALMAE)


Calamus prasinus Lakshmana & Renuka (PALMAE)


Calamus pseudotenuis Becc. ex Becc. & Hook. f. (PALMAE)


Calamus thwaitesii Becc. & Hook. f. (PALMAE)  


Calamus travancoricus Beddome ex Becc. & Hook. f. (PALMAE)


Calamus vattayila Renuka