Daemonorops scapigera

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scapigera (skah-pih-JEHR-ah)
Endau-Rompin, Johor, Malaysia. Photo by Dr. John Dransfield, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew/Palmweb.
Scientific Classification
Genus: Daemonorops
scapigera (skah-pih-JEHR-ah)
None set.
Native Continent
Habit: Solitary
Leaf type: Pinnate
Survivability index
Common names
Wi Empunok Ruai (Ib.) (J. Dransfield. 1997)/Palmweb.

Habitat and Distribution

Daemonorops scapigera is found in Borneo, Malaya, and Sumatera. Known from a single
Sabal Tapang, Sarawak, Malaysia. Photo by Dr. John Dransfield, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew/Palmweb.
collection. Also in Sarawak, Johor and Natuna Islands in the South China Sea. This species has a wide altitudinal range, occurring from sea level to up to c. 1,000 m or more in Borneo. The only record from Brunei was at about 80 m above sea level in forest transitional between mixed dipterocarp forest and kerangas. (J. Dransfield. 1997)/Palmweb.


Solitary, stemless or erect rattan palm, with stem rarely more than 2 m tall, sometimes ± creeping; stem without sheaths to 20 mm in diam., with sheaths to 40 mm in diam., internodes very short, rarely exceeding 1 cm. Sheath dull green, covered in brown hairs and armed with brownish spines, solitary or arranged in horizontal or oblique groups, the longest about 30 mm, except near the sheath mouth where much longer; knee absent. Leaf ecirrate, to 2 m, often less; petiole to 50 cm long, armed with regular, very conspicuous, lateral, slightly upward-pointing spines to 9 cm, 2-4 cm distant, smaller spines sometimes paired with the larger; leaflets about 30-50 on each side of the rachis, very regular, close, slightly curved, the longest to 35 × 2.5 cm, usually less, bristly along the margins and mid nerve on upper surface, densely bristly on all nerves on lower surface, especially the mid nerve where bristles smaller and more frequent. Inflorescences usually with a long, slender, eventually pendulous peduncle to 30 cm, unarmed or armed with short regular spines along the margins; bracts crowded at the peduncle tip, about 5 in number, the largest about 10 × 2 cm, papery, unarmed or more usually armed with shaggy hairy soft pale brown spines to 1 cm long; partial inflorescences short; flowers unusually large, to 5 × 2 mm. Mature fruit rounded, relatively very large, up to 30 mm in diam., briefly beaked, covered in 13-15 vertical rows of strawcoloured scales, marked with purplish-black at the tip or purplish-black throughout. Sarcotesta thick, sweet; seed rounded, about 15 mm in diam., deeply ruminate. Seedling leaf with 4-6 leaflets. (J. Dransfield. 1997)/Palmweb. Editing by edric.

The large petiole spines, regular leaflets with unusual bristle arrangement, together with the slender peduncle, large flowers and fruit, make this short-stemmed species most distinctive. (J. Dransfield. 1997)/Palmweb.


Comments and Curiosities

Etymology: Bearing a scape. (J. Dransfield. 1997)/Palmweb.

Uses: The fruit is good to eat; stems may be used for walking-sticks. (J. Dransfield. 1997)/Palmweb.

External Links


Phonetic spelling of Latin names by edric.

Special thanks to Geoff Stein, (Palmbob) for his hundreds of photos.

Special thanks to Palmweb.org, Dr. John Dransfield, Dr. Bill Baker & team, for their volumes of information and photos.

Glossary of Palm Terms; Based on the glossary in Dransfield, J., N.W. Uhl, C.B. Asmussen-Lange, W.J. Baker, M.M. Harley & C.E. Lewis. 2008. Genera Palmarum - Evolution and Classification of the Palms. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. All images copyright of the artists and photographers (see images for credits).

Dransfield, J. 1997. The Rattans of Brunei Darussalam. Ministry of Industry and primary Resources, Brunei Darussalam.

Many Special Thanks to Ed Vaile for his long hours of tireless editing and numerous contributions.

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