Calamus muelleri —Southern Lawyer Cane, Wait-a-while— ARECACEAE

Calamus muelleri

Link to Images on Flickr.

Habitat—Grows in rainforest on the coast and lower ranges.

Distribution— North from the Bellinger River in New South Wales and into Queensland.

Description—Climber with spines and slender cane–like stems to 20 m high, dioecious

Local occurrences

Dorrigo National Park and Raintrees Diamond Beach

Leaves.—Pinnate, alternate, leaf base sheathing the stem, ± sessile, with hooked spines on the rachis and sheath; lamina pinnate, commonly 30 to 50 cm long; segments ± oblanceolate, 9 to 12, 10 to 20 cm long, 3 to 6 cm wide; rachis 16 to 25 cm long, spiny.

Calamus muelleri
Calamus muelleri

Inflorescence.—Sterile inflorescences to 1.2 m long. Fertile inflorescence of 2 or 3 simple panicles, commonly 1 m long, the terminal end without flowers or spines. Flowers greenish. Male flowers with outer perianth commonly 2 mm long; inner tepals 3, 4 to 5 mm long; stamen 6. Female flowers with outer perianth 1 to 2 mm long; inner tepals 3 mm long; ovary 3–locular, covered with imbricate scales.


Fruit.—Globose, c. 12 mm diam., covered with scales, yellow to cream

Ripe.—Autumn to Winter