Calamus  spp. – Rattan palm  – Arecaceae

The large genus of palms known as rattan have pliable stems that are used in constructing furniture.  The genus name Calamus, derives from the Greek ‘calamos’, a reed, a reference to its reedy stems.  Many species have a thin layer of edible pulp surrounding the seed.

Rattans are spiny climbers native to the Old World tropics.  Speckled, round, pea-size seeds are used in malas (prayer beads) in India, Burma, Nepal and Tibet where they are called ‘lotus’ seeds.