Daemonorops jenkinsiana

Daemonorops jenkinsiana

Daemonorops jenkinsiana (Daemonorops jenkinsiana (Griff.) Mart.) Is an arboreal species belonging to the Arecaceae family.

Systematics –
From the systematic point of view it belongs to the Eukaryota Domain, Kingdom Plantae, Magnoliophyta Division, Liliopsida Class, Arecidae Subclass, Arecales Order, Arecaceae Family, Calamoideae Subfamily, Calameae Tribe, Calaminae Sub-tribe and therefore to the Daemonorops Genus and to the D. jenkinsiana Species.
The terms are synonymous:
– Calamus jenkinsianus Griff .;
– Calamus margaritae Hance;
– Calamus nutantiflorus Griff .;
– Daemonorops margaritae (Hance) Becc .;
– Daemonorops nutantiflora (Griff.) Mart .;
– Daemonorops pierreana Becc .;
– Daemonorops schmidtiana Becc .;
– Palmijuncus jenkinsianus (Griff.) Kuntze;
– Palmijuncus margaritae (Hance) Kuntze;
– Palmijuncus nutantiflorus (Griff.) Kuntze.

Etymology –
The term Daemonorops derives from Daemon which is the Latin word derived from the ancient Greek daimon (δαίμων: “god”, “divine”, “power”, “destiny”), which originally referred to a minor deity or guiding spirit.
The specific Jenkinsian epithet comes from Jenkins.

Geographic Distribution and Habitat –
Daemonorops jenkinsiana is a plant present in an area that includes: Eastern Himalaya, Hainan, Laos, Myanmar, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, West Bengal, Sikkim, Assam, Meghalaya), Bangladesh, Bhutan, southern and south-eastern China, Cambodia.
In the eastern Himalayas, it is common in mixed forests up to 1000m. s.l.m ..
Its habitat is that which goes from the plains to the hills below an altitude of 1,000 meters, grows in the primary or secondary rainforest and is also found in the subtropical deciduous forest.

Description –
Daemonorops jenkinsiana is a tall climbing palm with clustered stems, climbing or often forming thickets, at 25 m, 6 cm in diameter.
It produces a dense cluster of vigorous unbranched stems that can be up to 50 meters long, with a diameter of 25-30 mm, with internodes up to 40 cm long; these stems can climb the treetops in the forest. The stems and leaves are very thorny.
The leaves are cirrates, with leaf blades excluding cirri up to 3 m in length; pale yellow to yellowish green leaf sheath, covered with brown dandruff and armed with thin, flattened needle-like spines, dark brown to blackish in series or scattered; petiole 15-20 cm long, 5 cm broad in the widest part; wrinkled on the outside, flat to slightly convex above, armed below with strong fingered claws and straight spines at the edges; the leaflets are equidistant, alternating; the largest leaflets just above the base, 40 – 50 cm long or in some vigorous specimens 50 – 70 cm long, 2 – 4 cm broad in the widest part; rudimentary final flyers.
The inflorescence is sub-axillary or inserted above the mouth of their sheaths, not very broadly fusiform after opening; the peduncle is 3-6 cm long; external bract that tapers into a long, reddish to reddish-brown beak. The flower branches are densely matted at the base.
The male flowers are oblong in the bud, 5 x 2,5 mm, with a cup-shaped calyx, hairy at the tips; corolla with 3 oblanceolate petals; stamens 6, anthers subulate, connate and thickened at the base. The rachis of the female inflorescence up to 8 cm long, sinuous; the female flowers are 6-7 in number on each side; each 5 – 5.5 mm in length; cup-shaped chalice, truncated; clearly veined corolla, with deeply divided lanceolate petals; ovary from ovoid to globose, stigmas 3, internal papillos.
The fruits are globose, of 1,8 cm of diameter; fruit flakes in 18 longitudinal series, yellowish-brown in color with darker marginal lines; globose seed, about 10 mm in diameter, minutely pitted; pits full of dark subresinous substances; ruminate endosperm.

Cultivation –
This palm grows naturally in humid tropical lowlands and also in subtropical regions. The plant grows best where the average annual temperature is between 20 and 32 ° C and does not tolerate temperatures of 3 ° C or lower which can kill young seedlings.
It prefers average annual rainfall above 1,500 mm; moreover, the plant grows best in areas where the shade is around 30-50%. Young seedlings require more sunlight than others for optimal growth.
It prefers humus-rich, moist and fertile soil with a pH between 4.5 and 6.5.
Propagation occurs by seed in a shaded position in a nursery seedbed with a high sand content. The germination rate of ripe and fresh seeds can be 85% or more. Most seeds germinate 50-60 days after sowing and after 60-90 days the primary leaf emerges. Young seedlings (with the first true unexpanded leaf) are transplanted into plastic pots containing soil plus added nutrients and then kept moist and under 20-30% shade. The seedlings are ready to be transplanted when they have reached 12-15 months.
Although this palm can be vegetatively propagated, seed propagation is a more common method. The seeds must be extracted and cleaned before sowing. The moisture content of the seeds should be kept above 29%. Also, to improve germination, the inner integument covering the embryo is sometimes cut.
Two to three years after settlement, aerial stems can grow at a rate of 2 meters per year.
Flowering begins 5-6 years after sowing. At the age of 8-10, a clump can already consist of over 30 aerial stems.
It has been estimated that the yield could be around 7.9 tons / ha 10-11 years after the plant, and in the following years the harvest could be done 4 times in a five-year rotation.
The total expected yield can eventually reach 38.7 tons / Ha within a management period of 25 years. However, these estimates need scientific confirmation.
Although the plant requires the support of a pre-existing tree crop or forest canopy for climbing, it does require sufficient sunlight to encourage aerial stem development.
However, the new leaves of young seedlings can be burned by full sunlight.
In China, small farmers plant it in scattered groups in agroforestry systems.
In commercial cultivation it is combined in the forest at a distance of 3 x 4 meters
As it is a dioecious species, it is necessary to cultivate both the male and the female form if fruit and seeds are to be produced.

Customs and Traditions –
Daemonorops jenkinsiana is a very useful palm for obtaining materials for making baskets, etc.
It is normally harvested in its natural state but is also cultivated, both for local use and for export. It is estimated that 20 – 25%, or 800 – 1,000 tons / year, of China’s rattan production comes from this species.
This material is widely used for all types of weaving and basketry, as well as in furniture making, as they are both flexible and strong, with a diameter of approximately 10-30mm.
The long and thin stems of rattan are intended for various uses based on their size, length, flexibility, elasticity and toughness. The thinnest rods are used whole for tying and in the manufacture of chairs, curtains, mats, wicker or wicker, fishing gear, etc. Twisted, they form very strong cables. Larger and stronger rods are used whole as cables, wicker chair frame etc. Usually, however, for many purposes the stems are divided along their entire length into 2-4 or more strips from which the soft, brittle and spongy inner part is removed with a knife or other tool, so as to leave the part external, which is hard, tough, flexible, elastic and has a very clean and smooth external surface as if it had been painted.
Among the edible uses it should be remembered that fresh sprouts are cooked and eaten as a vegetable.
As for medicinal uses, they are poorly documented and uncertain.
Finally, among other uses, the seeds are used to make necklaces.

Preparation Method –
Daemonorops jenkinsiana is processed and used for both food and industrial purposes.
In human nutrition, fresh sprouts are used, which are cooked and eaten as a vegetable.
As for the preparation of rattan, the procedure is as follows:
– the stems are collected and prepared with a very simple procedure. The stem is cut close to the ground and detached from the trees by gripping its base firmly and thus knocking down the entire plant with its leaves. The most recent growth at the top of the plant is removed and then, by handling it from the top end, the stem is pulled forcefully in reverse between two pieces of wood, thus removing the thorny covers. It is then cut into lengths of about 5 meters, each piece is folded into two equal parts and the stems are fixed in bundles ready for the market. The finest stems are no thicker than a man’s little finger and have a fine and shiny straw yellow glassy surface.

Guido Bissanti

Sources
– Acta Plantarum – Flora of the Italian Regions.
– Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
– Useful Tropical Plants Database.
– Conti F., Abbate G., Alessandrini A., Blasi C. (edited by), 2005. An annotated checklist of the Italian vascular flora, Palombi Editore.
– Pignatti S., 1982. Flora of Italy, Edagricole, Bologna.
– Treben M., 2000. Health from the Lord’s Pharmacy, Advice and experiences with medicinal herbs, Ennsthaler Editore.

Warning: Pharmaceutical applications and alimurgical uses are indicated for informational purposes only, they do not represent in any way a medical prescription; therefore no responsibility is taken for their use for curative, aesthetic or food purposes.




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